Conservative rebellion sinks ‘Plan B’

Hot off the presses from the main site, figure it’s worth posting here too. It’s been a wild night in the Capitol:

By Daniel Malloy

WASHINGTON —

House Speaker John Boehner’s “fiscal cliff” backup plan fell apart Thursday night, and the U.S. House adjourned for Christmas, as his restive Republican caucus balked at a bill that would let taxes rise on income over $1 million.

Boehner intended to use the measure to pressure Democrats, who opposed it, to come up with a better deal. But in the end his forceful, personal appeals for the bill were not enough to bring 217 votes for passage.

Boehner has been personally negotiating with President Barack Obama on a larger deal to raise taxes, cut spending and reform entitlement programs — but he pursued the Republican-only “Plan B” as a fallback.

The gambit failed.

Now the House is not set to return before Dec. 27, and Boehner in a statement said the onus is on Obama to work with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on a plan to avoid the tax hikes and spending cuts scheduled for the new year.

Obama and Boehner have been engaged in one-on-one negotiations but remain apart on the parameters of a so-called grand bargain — the politics of which are complicated further by Boehner’s inability to muster the votes for his tax measure.

“The President’s main priority is to ensure that taxes don’t go up on 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses in just a few short days,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said after the House adjourned. “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.”

Boehner’s “Plan B” bill was designed as a fallback against the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, to ensure that marginal tax rates — as well as the estate tax and alternative minimum tax — would remain unchanged for the vast majority of taxpayers. But the White House and the Democrat-controlled Senate vowed to block the bill, saying it did not raise enough revenue and did not do enough for the middle class. (The Senate passed a bill in the fall to extend marginal tax rates for incomes of $250,000 or less.)

Raising taxes at all goes sharply against Republican orthodoxy, and Boehner canceled the night’s scheduled vote once he realized more than two dozen of his members would refuse to allow any rates to rise.

Two conservative Georgians who announced their opposition in advance were U.S. Reps. Lynn Westmoreland of Coweta County and Paul Broun of Athens. Thursday afternoon, Broun declared, “I’m not raising taxes on anybody,” and insisted that a cuts-only approach is the only way to tame the nation’s deficits.

Other members of the delegation said the vote was the best of a bad situation. Still more played their cards close to the vest. U.S. Rep. Tom Price of Roswell declared himself undecided two hours before the scheduled vote time.

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, a Savannah Republican, said Boehner told the caucus at a hastily called meeting Thursday night: “Right now we’re at an impasse, and we’re going to go home.”

“Every now and then you just have to regroup, and I’ve seen lots of tough votes before,” Kingston added as he left the meeting. “It’s a birthing process, if you will, with lots of labor pains, so that’s where we are.”

U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, a Lawrenceville Republican, had been speaking in favor of the bill on the House floor. After the collapse he said of Boehner: “He has unilaterally pushed this conference as far as he can and now he’s got to have some teamwork from the other side.”

Any final deal likely will require House Democratic votes, but they did not offer any support for Boehner’s Plan B.

Rep. David Scott, an Atlanta Democrat, called the bill a “desperate move” by Boehner and said he opposed it because it did not raise enough tax revenue and, by allowing payroll taxes to rise, constituted a middle-class tax hike.

“It not only pushes us away from a deal, it raises anxiety among the American people,” Scott said.

Boehner — who had proclaimed earlier in the day he would have the votes — issued a terse statement after the conference meeting, noting the House over the summer passed a bill to extend all tax rates and twice, including Thursday night, voted for a bill to replace the across-the-board spending cuts with targeted slices to domestic programs such as food stamps and children’s health insurance. Democrats have dismissed both plans.

“The Senate must now act,” Boehner said.

Boehner took the rare step of personally whipping colleagues on the floor. On Wednesday evening, he sat behind Broun, Kingston and Phil Gingrey of Marietta and aggressively tried to cajole them into voting for the deal.

He appeared to have won over Gingrey by Thursday afternoon, when Gingrey said he was leaning toward voting yes.

“I’m not voting for a tax increase,” Gingrey said. “That’s current law. That’s going to happen anyway, and if we don’t do anything taxes are going up on everybody.”

Whether or not the vote was a tax hike was in dispute. Americans for Tax Reform — run by high-profile activist Grover Norquist — gave its approval to the bill as a non-tax increase. By contrast, the influential conservative groups FreedomWorks, Club For Growth and Heritage Action for America urged members to vote against it.

63 comments Add your comment

Cliff Diver

December 20th, 2012
9:55 pm

Amazing

December 20th, 2012
10:04 pm

Mr. Speaker and the other children in Washington,

It is about the country not the purity of your political ideology!

daqtaoge

December 20th, 2012
10:16 pm

Pengsan! Don’t know what to say! More gripping than Dallas!

td

December 20th, 2012
10:30 pm

The best thing the speaker has done to this point. Let Obama and Reid put a plan together for the American public to look at and approve before you have a vote.

Church of the painful Truth

December 20th, 2012
10:44 pm

Going home for Christmas???? Why should they go home???? Put on the big boy pants and pass a bill that helps the country.Both parities act like a bunch of children that want something that the other one has or wish the other party has it taken away.My God, please grow up and do something that helps this nation.I live in Westmoreland district;hope I see him over the holidays so I can tell him to get his a$$ back to D.C.

Man Up

December 20th, 2012
10:52 pm

TD, you as slow witted as your Speaker. The President has a plan on the table his fall back is $250M

WAW

December 20th, 2012
11:00 pm

Senate Bill 3412 is the first step. The Speaker would not allow it to go to the floor for an up or down vote. Can you say “Read my lips”? HW did it. Boehner & Co. will too. and td: The American People have spoken on November 6th, maybe hearing aids need to be the next House perk. Extend the Bush tax cuts for those making $250,000 or less. Simple! Personally, I’m in favor of cutting the compensation package of Congress, beginning with salary and staff but I know they will not take money out of their pockets.

td

December 20th, 2012
11:12 pm

WAW

December 20th, 2012
11:00 pm

Wrong. The same American people in Paul Ryan’s district that put him back in office also put Obama in office. The same can be said for many house districts in Ohio, Fl, Va and other districts around the country. They voted for the Conservative Republican that says no to new taxes and put into office a President that says no to entitlement cuts.

Just because Obama won re election does not mean anything without real compromise and a President always has to come to the people in charge of the House because that is where the money is at. Just ask Regan and Clinton if you do not believe the above statement is true.

td

December 20th, 2012
11:14 pm

Church of the painful Truth

December 20th, 2012
10:44 pm

And your democratic vote in Westmoreland’s district mean what to him? You did not even oppose him in Nov.

Eli

December 20th, 2012
11:15 pm

Boehner and his confidants are horrible at legislative strategy. The election is over, the mandate was clear. Throw the Tea Party under the bus already!

Or…repeal the sequestration. The debt is not that big of a deal anyways.

td

December 20th, 2012
11:17 pm

Man Up

December 20th, 2012
10:52 pm

TD, you as slow witted as your Speaker. The President has a plan on the table his fall back is $250M

The speaker is doing the will of the people that made the Republicans the majority party in the house. My Representative (Graves) has heard from me and I have told him to live up to his pledge he made to me and everyone that voted for him.

JD

December 20th, 2012
11:20 pm

How embarrassing this must be. The GOP leadership tries to play hardball…only to learn their members are bush league.

Can’t wait to see these conservative clowns shoot themselves in the foot over gun control.

Painful Westmoreland..

December 20th, 2012
11:22 pm

Painful, I’m sure, living in Westmoreland’s district, and the districts of most all these GOP blowhard pimping-for-the-rich GOP “lawmakers”. Lynn-boy loves to bash our President with simpleton insults, sounding like a dumb person thinks a smart person sounds.

All the while sucking up to the corporations and the elites, wanting to be a suave elite, by any mens necessary.

Look at the records of the Georiga GOP hacks–science and evolution theory is “from the pits of hell”, anything “law” to help those born to the rich. Braun, Price, Graves, Newt, Chambliss,…all these lackies make Georgia the flunky state it deserves to be known as–

A graduation rate that’ snot even tow out of three…from highs school. Colleges taht spend more on sports than science. Go GOP…to the pits of hell.

JD

December 20th, 2012
11:26 pm

TD, you mean the will of a majority of gerrymandered congressional districts. As you must know, a majority of American voters rejected the GOP plan outright…with an up or down vote held on Nov 6.

Graves is part of the GOP problem: extremism.

Li'l Aynie

December 20th, 2012
11:30 pm

Revenue and spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives, according to the Constitution. Why should Boehner call on the Senate to cobble together a revenue/spending plan if the House cannot?

Republican politicians, whose support of senseless wars, neglect of US infrastructure, and failure to regulate the financial sector caused the economic crash of 2008-2009, whose unrelenting obstruction of economic recovery from the recession of their making has contrained economic recovery, now are prepared to plunge the economy back into recession and even depression to shield 5% of the top-earning Americans from paying taxes at Bush-era rates.

monorail cat

December 20th, 2012
11:31 pm

This is the funniest thing I’ve ever read. Republicans fabricate a controversy over the debt ceiling a year ago and force Obama to compromise on their terms. They agree to raise the ceiling (which they really had no problem with) in exchange for the right to create the insane cliff legislation. They put simultaneous defense cuts and tax increases in it in the expectation that they will run the table in the elections and undo it all at the last minute. But of course they lost, and now they’re own crazy contraption is about to explode in their face. (slow clap)

jconservative

December 20th, 2012
11:34 pm

“Thursday afternoon, Broun declared, “I’m not raising taxes on anybody,” ”

Of course he is lying. Taxes on every taxpayer in his district, and I am in his district, are going up January 1, 2013 and he has not done a damn thing to stop it.

Of Course, I am thrilled. I have been battling for 31 years to stop the nonsense of decreasing government revenue and increasing government spending. Now, starting January 1,2013, government revenue will go up and government spending will go down.

td

December 20th, 2012
11:36 pm

JD

December 20th, 2012
11:26 pm

TD, you mean the will of a majority of gerrymandered congressional districts. As you must know, a majority of American voters rejected the GOP plan outright…with an up or down vote held on Nov 6.

Graves is part of the GOP problem: extremism.

Not meant to be a factual statement.

Explain why 52% of the district that Paul Ryan lives in voted for Obama and then 55% of the same voters put the Conservative Ryan back in the house? Same district (gerrymandered or not) voted for Obama and Ryan. Same can be said about the 6th,7th and 8th Congressional districts in Wis. Now let us look at Ohio, there were at least 5 Congressional districts that voted for Obama and sent their republican representative back to Congress.

The American people did speak but it sure was not to give Obama a particular mandate.

td

December 20th, 2012
11:47 pm

jconservative

December 20th, 2012
11:34 pm

“Thursday afternoon, Broun declared, “I’m not raising taxes on anybody,” ”

Of course he is lying. Taxes on every taxpayer in his district, and I am in his district, are going up January 1, 2013 and he has not done a damn thing to stop it.

Now that is a lie and you know it. The house Republicans have passed several bills that would extend the Bush tax cuts for everyone and the Democrats in the Senate have refused to even take up the legislation.

Voter

December 20th, 2012
11:53 pm

Silly hussein supporters. You think it’s a victory that Boehner failed to get Plan B in? You think raising taxes is the answer? You could raise taxes on everyone and it still couldn’t touch the amount of money that hussein is spending on entitlements and worthless job projects and stimulus that doesn’t work. Cut government spending is the answer.

Voter

December 20th, 2012
11:56 pm

I lost my job a few years ago, the first thing I did was cut my spending and get rid of extras I no longer could afford. I didn’t cry to the government for money, I didn’t apply for food stamps, I didn’t apply for housing, I didn’t apply for a free phone, I didn’t apply for one single thing from the government and I could have. I cut spending.

brianc

December 21st, 2012
12:19 am

Obama’s last offer is as good as is it’s going to get for Republicans in Congress. Boehner gambled and lost, just like the Republicans gambled by going along with this so-called fiscal cliff with the assumption they would make Obama a one-term president. They lost. They can take the deal now, or wait until after the 1st when Democrats offer tax cuts only for those making less than 250K. As anyone who has played chess knows, there comes a point in the game when you can keep moving the pieces around but inevitably you are going to be in checkmate. That’s where the Republicans are now.

Cherokee

December 21st, 2012
12:24 am

So, td, how about we just get the House Republicans to pass a bill extending the tax cuts for most of us – the one that the Senate has already passed?

double

December 21st, 2012
12:38 am

I looked here,I looked there,I looked every where to find districts that voted for Obama,and sent their republican reps back to congress.Obama reigns.

CC

December 21st, 2012
1:17 am

It’s the spending, stupid.

liberalefty

December 21st, 2012
2:00 am

OBAMA is too smart for these repubs…after all hes been beating them like a drum for years now…po po repubs dont know what to do

Buckhead Boy

December 21st, 2012
6:28 am

Cherokee, they won’t do that because the Senate bill doesn’t even preserve the loopholes as did Plan B –. the loopholes that are as consequential to the uber-rich as the reduced rate being maintained. Dupes like td wouldn’t know a “Pease limit” from a peas limit, and the greed of their masters of deceit knows no limit. Looks to me like the Republicans have been ensnared by their own monkey trap. Having reached into the gourd to grab the piece of fruit, they’ll never let go; and hang there until they die.

Marlboro Man

December 21st, 2012
7:03 am

Why not remove this individual, as he has no useful value? The public says raise revenue form those who are raking it in, why not listen?

clem

December 21st, 2012
7:16 am

repubs are the true obstructionists from the house to their filibuster happy senate colleagues.

td, if romney won by one vote you’d be hollering for mandate just as w did with his narrow victory over kerry.

53% of population thinks you folks are crazy….and you all prove it every day.

Ronnie Raygun

December 21st, 2012
7:25 am

The GOP cowards in the House won’t even bring the Senate passed bill to preserve the tax cuts on the first $250k for ALL Americans to a floor vote. That bill has been sitting on Boehner’s desk for months. What a bunch of un-American traitors.

clem

December 21st, 2012
7:49 am

watching that dumbarse from kansas huelskamp talk with joe republican scarborough this morning on morning joe should broadcast across the nation. can’t wait for 2014 elections.

while dems far from perfect, it will be pretty clear to any fair, open minded person that repubs are so far gone they will be.

Michele

December 21st, 2012
7:59 am

And the Republican idiocy rolls on. When will Boehner wake up, or when will the Republican leaders step up and fire his carcass. How about a dignified and flexible leader?

Road Scholar

December 21st, 2012
8:13 am

You want spending cuts to entitlements? Then cut Congress’s health club funding (let them pay their own way), their retirement (it is not a permanent job, besides they are all millionaires), cut their healthcare (let them deal with it like the American people), reduce their travel expenses and office staffs, cut their security (esp since they want to carry guns everywhere…why not IN CONGRESS if this is so good?)

It won’t balance the budget, but these are entitlements a defined by the right. Congress has not done their job. Why should they be rewarded? Why are they leaving Washington before a bill is passed? Why should they be rewarded to be with their families at Christmas?

It was rich that now the House Repubs want the Senate to propose a new deal! Esp after their complaint about Obamacare being written in the Senate!!!

How stupid do they think we are?

clem

December 21st, 2012
8:15 am

heck, cut entitlements to rich….that is a cut.

clem

December 21st, 2012
8:27 am

think that mayan prediction was directed at republicans only

curious

December 21st, 2012
8:31 am

The Republicans forced the upcoming fiscal cliff. They had better make the best of it.

The insane part is the Republicans will re-elect Boehner Speaker.

Talk about leadership!

Just Saying..

December 21st, 2012
8:44 am

One would gather the new GOP national strategy is pity…

blue dog

December 21st, 2012
9:03 am

Will these boneheaded GOP Representatives be voted out in 2014 ?
No; Because these Red States’s voters will elect them again and again.
They are afraid of losing their seats to even more extreme challengers back home. So, primary blame goes to the ignorant voters; secondary blame goes to these gutless Representatives who value their jobs over their country.

Rafe Hollister

December 21st, 2012
9:05 am

Seems to me that this demonstrates that Boehner can continue to bargain with Obama, but he demonstrated that just because he lets Barry walk all over him, his agreement to a deal is not going to fly. Seems the onus is now on the Dems to try and come up with something that can pass the house. So, until the Dems get serious about spending cuts, they are just wasting everyone’s time and we are not going to have any solution anytime soon.

It is the spending folks, the revenue they are talking about raising runs the gov for like 9 days. Hopefully the house will stay strong and insist on real progress, instead of just allowing Barry to kick the can further down the road.

Rafe Hollister

December 21st, 2012
9:08 am

blue dog

How does more of the same, status quo, more government spending, more promised but never realized cuts, good for the country. We might as well try to correct our financial bearings now, as in 2020.

yuzeyurbrane

December 21st, 2012
9:13 am

curious

December 21st, 2012
9:15 am

Did any of you rejoice when the sequestration bill passed?

If you did, what’s the problem?

GaBlue

December 21st, 2012
9:24 am

U.S. Rep. Tom Price of Roswell declared himself undecided two hours before the scheduled vote time.

He has no convictions. At any given moment in time, he’s buttering his own bread, and feather his own nest. Nobody else’s well being enters the equation.

JD

December 21st, 2012
9:48 am

Slice it up however you want TD. Obama won and had a majority of the popular vote. Nobody cares that Paul Ryan won reelection in a majority republican congressional district.

Mark

December 21st, 2012
10:04 am

@ JD

December 21st, 2012
9:48 am
Slice it up however you want TD. Obama won and had a majority of the popular vote. Nobody cares that Paul Ryan won reelection in a majority republican congressional district.

VERY WELL SAID JD!

Danny O

December 21st, 2012
10:05 am

“…the influential conservative groups FreedomWorks, Club For Growth and Heritage Action for America urged members to vote against it.”

[sarcastic clap for FreedomWorks, Club For Growth and Heritage Action for America]

clem

December 21st, 2012
10:05 am

and rysn’s budget had nothing but red ink for quite some time if i remember correctly

Timbo

December 21st, 2012
10:08 am

I am all for helping those in need, but there is something fundamentally wrong when a family of four on food stamps eats better than my family of four. These people are allocated more money a month than I can spend for my family and have the highest obesity rates. It’s criminal. We cut coupons, shop the ads, by generic. We do not live beyond our means. We live in a modest home that we rent. We are a 1 car family. I take public transportaton to work. I have no credit card debt and I stand at line at watch obese people waddling up to the line with shopping carts over flowing with name brand food paying with EBT cards. It’s criminal. Please explain why I shouldn’t hate these people, their lifestyle, and the fact that they are a drain on society. Non-contributers. Provide nothing to the greater good of America and our communities. Nothing.

Bill

December 21st, 2012
10:14 am

No wonder our country is in such bad shape, jst lookat some of the dumb statements made by the Progressives. Tax more and spend more, it ain’t gonna work. You all should be depending on yourselves, not the government.

clem

December 21st, 2012
10:15 am

do you ever wonder why the economic pie is not distributed more fairly to hard working folks like yourself