House GOP’s “Plan B” proposal does not have much support

And Harry Reid and the White House have indicated that the bill won't move beyond the House, even if it does pass

Topics: Plan B, John Boehner, Fiscal cliff, Budget Showdown, Barack Obama, Eric Cantor, Freedomworks, Club For Growth,

The House may be preparing to vote on John Boehner’s “Plan B” to resolve the “fiscal cliff,” but it appears that the proposal does not have much support.

For one thing, according to a whip count by The Hill, the proposal already has 25 likely defections by Republicans. If all Democrats vote against the proposal, Republicans can’t get more that 24 defections in order for it to pass.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said earlier that Republicans have the votes to pass the proposal, which would partially avoid the fiscal cliff by allowing taxes to increase only for those making over $1 million a year.

But a number of conservative groups have lined up against it as well.

The Tea Party group Freedomworks, which had previously said it tentatively supported the plan, just now flipped and said they oppose it. “After review of the Boehner Plan B legislation, pending in the House today, FreedomWorks has found it must oppose the legislation, and will be urging House members to vote NO on the bill,” the group said in a statement. “We will post our formal opposition letter on our site, soon.”

And Politico reports that the very conservative Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., and a number of leaders of conservative groups banded together to voice their opposition to it yesterday:

“[Voters] are afraid that the principals by which we elected a new speaker, a new majority leader and a new House, that we’ve some how lost our way,” Huelskamp said at a news conference.

Joining Huelskamp were Brent Bozell, chairman of the conservative group For America; Michael Needham, chairman of Heritage Action, the political action spinoff of the Heritage Foundation; and the Club for Growth’s Andrew Roth.

Even the legislative arm of the Family Research Council criticized the plan, though the U.S. Chamber of Congress said it supports it, but only because it would avert the fiscal cliff.



Assuming it does pass the House today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, R-Nev., has said that the Senate won’t vote on it anyway. And the White House threatened a veto of the proposal should it reach the President’s desk.

Brian Beutler of TPM explains what happens if it fails:

If Plan B fails, and [Boehner] doesn’t want to cut a big deficit reduction deal with Obama and he doesn’t want to go over the cliff, settling for a more modest measure where income tax rate go up on only those with incomes above $250,000 will be his only remaining option.

Not surprisingly, Democrats are heavily invested in Plan B’s failure. They want to beat Boehner at his own game, yes, but they also don’t want him to secure this last bit of leverage and potentially win yet more concessions from Obama at the last minute.

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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