House Speaker John Boehner abruptly pulled his “Plan B” tax rate bill from the floor Thursday night, after struggling to garner support from fellow Republicans -- leaving lawmakers once again without a vehicle for averting the looming fiscal crisis and the public facing an imminent tax hike.The ball is now in Obama's court. But was that the plan all along?
The surprise decision capped a tumultuous day on Capitol Hill. Over Democrats’ vocal objections, Republican leaders had pressed forward with two bills that composed what Boehner called his “Plan B.” The first, a plan to replace automatic spending cuts set to hit next month, narrowly passed Thursday evening on a 215-209 vote.
But, in a move that signaled turmoil in the Republican caucus, the House was called into recess right before the scheduled vote on Boehner’s other bill -- to prevent tax hikes on all but those making more than $1 million. Republican leaders called an emergency meeting and it was apparently clear within minutes Boehner did not have enough support, with some Republicans still opposed to raising rates on anybody.
The House put off the vote, with no indication as to whether it might be rescheduled, as Boehner prodded the Senate to act.
"The House did not take up the tax measure today because it did not have sufficient support from our members to pass,” Boehner said in a statement. “Now it is up to the president to work with Senator Reid on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff.”
Thursday, December 20, 2012
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