But the White House still says it's confident there can be a deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff"
After conservatives revolted and killed John Boehner’s “Plan B” proposal to avert the “fiscal cliff,” things are not looking great for Boehner and his options in the negotiations.
House Republicans canceled the vote over the proposal last night after they failed to collect enough votes. Had it passed, “Plan B” would have partially averted the cliff by allowing taxes to increase only for those making over $1 million a year, though both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the White House said they would not let the proposal make it much farther.
“The President will work with Congress to get this done and we are hopeful that we will be able to find a bipartisan solution quickly that protects the middle class and our economy,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney after the proposal collapsed.
So where can Boehner go from here?
From the New York Times, one option is that Boehner works with Obama to pass something without the support of the more conservative members of his caucus:
Democrats — and some Republicans — hoped the demise of the Boehner backup plan will usher in a last and final round of negotiations between the speaker and President Obama over a broad deficit reduction deal that raises more than $1 trillion in taxes over 10 years while locking in another $1 trillion in savings from entitlements like Medicare and other federal programs.
“The math changes” with a bipartisan deal, said Representative Steven C. LaTourette, a retiring Republican moderate from Ohio, who predicted Mr. Boehner could win at least half of House Republicans. “If there’s a negotiated settlement with the president, the speaker will put it on the floor and we’ll see where the chips fall.”
Or, Richard Cowan from Reuters says, he could just give up entirely:
Boehner’s only other apparent option – one that he hinted at late on Thursday following the collapse of his bill – would be to walk away and leave the problem on Democrats’ doorstep.
“Now it is up to the president to work with Senator Reid on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff,” Boehner said in a statement referring to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Brian Beutler of TPM suggests another possibility:
But if a last ditch effort fails, or he chooses to rebuff Obama, he’ll set one of two unpredictable chains of events into motion.
He can still bring Senate-passed legislation to the floor, which would lock in the Bush tax cuts for income up to $250,000. That bill would face stiff resistance from many corners of his conference, but would likely pass with overwhelming Democratic support. it would leave unresolved issues like the sequester, Medicare physician reimbursement, expiring emergency unemployment benefits, annual appropriations, and the debt ceiling. And it would still leave him wounded leader, in a tough spot with his members.
Or he could turn toward the cliff, take the country over, try to breathe life back into his speakership, and grapple with the messy consequences next year.
Salon’s Steve Kornacki sums it up:
The most likely scenario now is that January 1 will come and go, the Bush tax cuts will expire for all Americans, and President Obama and Democrats will then introduce a bill to restore the Bush rates for most people – maybe using the $250,000 income threshold that Obama stuck with until this week. Maybe then, when the vote really would be for a tax cut, Republicans will sign off on it. But for now, that’s not where they are.
Meanwhile, Boehner will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. this morning, and Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats will speak at 1 p.m. The House will not meet again until after Christmas.
Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. More Jillian Rayfield.
More Related Stories
- Developers evict historic women's shelter to build luxury hotel
- Guantánamo prisoner on hunger strike cries for help on Twitter
- 3 possible solutions to international tax avoidance
- “I just want the U.S. to send my father home”
- Army weapons engineer tied to white nationalist organizations
- Ted Cruz against the world
- David Vitter's hypocritical, punitive, horrible new amendment
- Louie Gohmert: Women should be forced to carry nonviable pregnancies to term
- Could hackers destroy the U.S. power grid?
- Democrats may be even worse than Republicans at regulating Wall Street
- Eric Holder versus journalism
- A progressive defense of drones
- There's no substitute for government disaster relief
- Holder signed off on search warrant for reporter
- Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages
- Mike Judge: "Bowling for Columbine" made me pro-gun
- Closing Gitmo is not enough
- Murkowski: Palin too disengaged to run for Senate
- In IRS scandal, new GOP tactic is ignorance
- Code Pink activist berates Obama at national security speech
- Cuomo: "Shame on us" if New York City elects Weiner
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11