Video: Boehner still working on Plan B; Update: Presser video added

posted at 10:31 am on December 18, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

There’s lots of chatter about a deal forming between John Boehner and Barack Obama on the fiscal cliff, but it’s no sure thing yet, either.  Carl Cameron reports that the Speaker is still working on a Plan B to bail Republicans out of the politically disastrous tax hikes on the middle class without giving away all the GOP leverage on the fiscal cliff.  Boehner is talking with Republicans on Obama’s latest offer, but also on how to extricate from the situation if a deal fails to materialize:


Speaker of the House John Boehner is reportedly working on a “plan B” to stop automatic tax hikes on January 1st. Carl Cameron reported that the speaker is telling House Republicans behind doors that time is running out and the White House can’t bring itself to agree to a balanced approach.

In the absence of an alternative, Speaker Boehner says a modified plan B is the plan. That plan would a vote in the House to extend the Bush tax cuts on everybody making less than one million dollars. How this would be arranged with the Senate and President Obama is still up in the air.

The Washington Post also reports on efforts to craft a backup plan:

Boehner plans to continue negotiating with Obama in hopes of striking a broad agreement, senior aides said Tuesday morning, but at the same time feels the need to move forward on his “Plan B,” with precious days remaining until a series of tax increases and spending cuts takes effect.

“We’re leaving the door open wide for something better,” Boehner plans to tell fellow Republicans, according to prepared remarks provided by aides. “And I have been clear about that with the president. Plan B is Plan B for a reason. It’s a less-than-ideal outcome. I’ve always believed we can do better.”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told his colleagues Tuesday morning that he is aiming to hold a vote on the proposal by the end of the week, according to aides familiar with the meeting.

In his prepared remarks, Boehner said the plan that Obama offered him on Monday evening “cannot be considered balanced.”

“We’re going to keep the door open in hopes the president can find a way to support a balanced approach.” There was no immediate comment from the White House.

Plan B would probably consist of holding tax rates firm on everyone below a million dollars in income and fixing the AMT yet again, a point rarely heard but of critical importance to about 26 million Americans who will get hammered by it otherwise.  Boehner would hold off on a debt-limit increase, which Obama needs to get past the February-ish deadline on borrowing.  Would the Senate pass such a bill? Probably not, but that would allow Boehner to paint Democrats as the party blocking middle-class tax relief, in order to get more spending.

I’m not sure that will make much difference with voters, especially after that dismal WaPo/ABC poll, but like Boehner says, it’s called Plan B for a reason.

Update: Boehner and Eric Cantor just held a press conference on this plan:


Rep. Eric Cantor addressed the press, as well, saying that “the president is not yet there; he has not yet come to where he needs to be” to allow GOP leaders to push through a bill that “addresses the problem.”

Fox News politics producer Chad Pergram offered some insight as to how this plan B would work:

“The House takes the Senate passed legislation which extends tax breaks for those who earn up to $200,000 or couples making up to $250,000, and amends it with Boehner’s plan to increase taxes on millionaires. They then send it back to the Senate. This is classic Congressional ping-pong. The understanding is that the House would move this bill on Thursday.”

He added that we should keep in mind that “this is a similar tactic Boehner used during the debt ceiling debate, demonstrating what can pass the House. He did this on the debt ceiling, putting out a couple of difference plans which would pass the House. Although the fly in the ointment is that many Republicans are going to be loathe to agree to any tax hike at all, ala the millionaires tax increase.”

I think the fact that we’re having press conferences like this plays hob with the notion that we’re getting closer to cutting a deal.


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Why do they not ever say that revenue from taxes won’t make one iota of a difference and that it is just a cover for oba-mao’s dreams of wealth distribution. Weak ass moron reeeepuuuubliiiicanns! (in Name Only).

ultracon on December 18, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Let it fail. Abdicate responsibility to the dems by voting “present,” just like dear leader was so wont to do. Give them the “Roberts Rules of Order” finger.

“Let Barack do it.”

Wino on December 18, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Would the Senate pass such a bill? Probably not,

…because Obama and democratic leadership has wanted to go over the cliff from the very beginning.

Baxter Greene on December 18, 2012 at 10:38 AM

the GOP messaging continues to disappoint. I do think they don’t use “wealth distribution” as a meme because so many people don’t know what that means nor do they care as long as the wealth distribution is not their wealth!

CoffeeLover on December 18, 2012 at 10:38 AM

I remember when Republicans actually had a spine.

kingsjester on December 18, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Plan “B” for Bonehead Bozos who voted for Barack….

hillsoftx on December 18, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Plan B is an abortifacient.

Seems reasonable – no point in punishing people with an Uber-RINO compromise baby.

CorporatePiggy on December 18, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Juan and Evita could fix this. Well, no, actually they couldn’t, but the important thing is they would look marvelous.

Seth Halpern on December 18, 2012 at 10:41 AM

When Boehner wakes up in the morning, does he have an aide that reminds him that he is a Republican?

Oil Can on December 18, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Plan B (Plan Boehner) – Capitulate faster!

iamsaved on December 18, 2012 at 10:45 AM

When Obama’s Bus rolls over Boehner, the wheels will go squjish, squish, squish.

Dadgum. I wish we had Conservatives speaking for the GOP.

kingsjester on December 18, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Doesn’t matter if he is able to paint the dems in bad light…. the lsm will still have the bully pulpit for crucifying the gop

cmsinaz on December 18, 2012 at 10:52 AM

LOL@ Plan B.

Republicans are going to get hammered if there’s no deal, so either make a deal or go over the cliff.

blue13326 on December 18, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Whatever. Vote Independent.

Mr. Arrogant on December 18, 2012 at 10:56 AM

The immediate aftermath will be hard on the GOP if no deal is made, the future will be harder on Obama because it’s on his watch as President.

Hold Firm GOP

Tater Salad on December 18, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Plan B…Mayan Apocalypse in 3 days….

PatriotRider on December 18, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Plan B…Mayan Apocalypse in 3 days….

PatriotRider on December 18, 2012 at 10:56 AM

That outcome is probably preferable to any “compromise” that the GOP and Democrats will come up with.

UltimateBob on December 18, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Plan B is an abortifacient.

Seems reasonable – no point in punishing people with an Uber-RINO compromise baby.

CorporatePiggy on December 18, 2012 at 10:41 AM

It is. The GOP got in bed with the Tea Party and had some guts and integrity inserted into them so they are pulling out Fiscal Plan B to get rid of it.

Rocks on December 18, 2012 at 11:10 AM

In general, caves take about 100,000 years to form.

The GOP has found a way to accelerate that process.

Bruno Strozek on December 18, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Worthless POS.

The GOP is dead.

It died from lack of principles, leadership and coherence brought to you by its elite.

Tim_CA on December 18, 2012 at 11:30 AM

When Boehner finally announces the deal, he should show up at the presser in full spelunking gear, with the hard hat with the light on it and everything.

Dongemaharu on December 18, 2012 at 11:37 AM

The land deserves her fall, in full.

Full speed ahead.

Charlatans rule, from the left to the right.

Schadenfreude on December 18, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Boehner, and everyone like him, must go in order not only to save the conservative movement but the country as a whole.

voiceofreason on December 18, 2012 at 11:49 AM

whats the difference between a republican and a democrat?

answer=nothing.

renalin on December 18, 2012 at 11:55 AM

If Boehner would sacrifice the rate of increase in corporate welfare payments to his cronies, (we’re not even talking about real cuts, just reduced rate of increase), Republicans would be in the drivers seat. The sequestration (AKA corporate welfare), is the only leverage Democrats have over Republicans.

…And, unfortunately since most Republicans in Congress are on the take that is all the leverage Democrats need to force Republicans to break their oath to voters not to raise taxes and to throw away the debt ceiling, the only leverage that the GOP has in the federal government.

FloatingRock on December 18, 2012 at 11:56 AM

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/9750510/France-warms-to-Gerard-Depardieu-the-heroic-exile.html

People of France did not take much time to see through what a fraud Hollande is, but stupid American voters gave Barry another 4 years even after 4 years of disasters.

galtani on December 18, 2012 at 11:58 AM

I think the fact that we’re having press conferences like this plays hob with the notion that we’re getting closer to cutting a deal.

Out here in Pixley we call it sodomy.

arnold ziffel on December 18, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Boehner is an impotent fool that needs to go away…… a traitor to conservatism.

ultracon on December 18, 2012 at 12:02 PM

I don’t mind this move. In fact, this should be Plan A

Obozo is not serious in giving up any spending cuts, whatsoever

So pass the tax rate extensions, and go home

I say pass them and shut it down until 2013

Kind of a “mini LIB”

thurman on December 18, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Obama just gave Boehner’s plan ‘B’ a backhanded slap. Good. Boehner once again looks the fool.

Mr. Arrogant on December 18, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Would the Senate pass such a bill? Probably not,

Lets see if the Senate will really vote down a proposal to extend the tax cuts for all making under $1,000,000, then explain to the people why.

LilyBart on December 18, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Oh my, Drudge has outdone himself with that hideous image of Pelosi. It’s downright frightening!

scalleywag on December 18, 2012 at 12:24 PM

GOP promises to Increase taxes now, Obama/Dems promise to discuss spending cuts later.

Wait, haven’t we seen this movie before? I think I know how this ends – same way it always does, lol.

Good grief.

Midas on December 18, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Sweet Mayan Apocalypse of Death, when you come, please strike Washington DC first on your way to get the rest of us. Thanks in advance.

Midas on December 18, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Thanks in advance.

Midas on December 18, 2012 at 12:32 PM

AMEN!

Good grief.

Midas on December 18, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Same as it ever was, surely they wouldn’t be stupid enough to let Obama/Pelosi/Reid hold the football?

scalleywag on December 18, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Sweet Mayan Apocalypse of Death, when you come, please strike Washington DC first on your way to get the rest of us. Thanks in advance.

Midas on December 18, 2012 at 12:32 PM

LMAO…..Indeed!

And please give us one week of pol-free bliss before you come for the patriots.

Tim_CA on December 18, 2012 at 12:43 PM

Hey, at least the president has stopped his endless campaigning and is having some conversations. Of course, he’s rejected every reasonable offer thus far, but he’s not on the news every night hollering about the GOP wanting to save the rich while all he wants to do is eat them.

scalleywag on December 18, 2012 at 12:50 PM

the Speaker is still working on a Plan B to bail Republicans out of the politically disastrous tax hikes on the middle class without giving away all the GOP leverage on the fiscal cliff.

Those tax hikes were the deal that the Weeping Boner “extracted from” the Indonesian in order to allow that lunatic and the dems to raise the debt limit and continue on with their insane and un-Constitutional spending. Boner crowed about how great a deal he had made … and now he wants to destroy everything in order to avoid the “deal” he had made to allow more spending.

I can’t stand this Weeper any more. When will the House GOP just remove this guy from his position? How much more of this inept and suicidal stupidity do they have to see? I wonder what deal the Crybaby will make this time that he’ll whine about having to avoid. I know that he’s been working hard to screw up the debt limit “negotiations” at the same time (being the idiot that he is). Maybe Boner can throw some other things in, just to make sure that the GOP is dead, dead, dead and that the American Socialist Superstate continues on without interruption?

Get this Crybaby away from the controls, already!! He’s not equipped to haggle over the price of a used car, let alone deal with serious fiscal issues and the gang of America-haters on the left.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on December 18, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Vote present and let it burn.

Malachi45 on December 18, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Neither side is serious. Prepare for a USA credit downgrade in 5 4 3. ……

davemason2k on December 18, 2012 at 1:22 PM

I figured out what the Mayan apocalypse is! An asteroid strikes the planet and leaves Washington, DC intact.

Wino on December 18, 2012 at 2:40 PM

No compromise. Give the Dems two choices.

1. Obama’s plan as is – own it Dems (Let It Burn)

2. Refuse to pass any spending resolutions (Shut It Down)

I think the media will have a difficult time blaming Republicans for passing Obama’s plan.

blink on December 18, 2012 at 10:46 AM

I like Plan 1. It won’t pass the Senate, but the optics are enough. And, if by a miracle Harry Reid actually brings it to a vote, then Mr. Blame Bush and his party own what will happen to this economy. I’m bracing for impact.

txhsmom on December 18, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Anybody read this?
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/335932/theres-no-revolt-no-coup-say-house-republicans-robert-costa

Boehner had better not concede on raising the debt limit. It’s time for Obysmal (and his enablers in Congress) to cut the spending spree.

onlineanalyst on December 18, 2012 at 2:49 PM

…T h e r e …i s…n o…p l a n …t o…w o r k…o n… B O N E H E A D…!!!
VOTE PRESENT…dumb crybaby!

KOOLAID2 on December 18, 2012 at 9:27 PM