Boehner warns Obama: If you veto our Plan B bill, the automatic tax hikes on January 1 are all on you; Update: House to vote even if bill is doomed?

posted at 5:13 pm on December 19, 2012 by Allahpundit

This is a leverage ploy, right? The House passes Plan B, Reid kills it in the Senate, and then Boehner gets to say, “We did what Democrats wanted by taxing millionaires and they still prefer to go over the cliff.” But … what if it doesn’t even pass the House? Then Democrats get to turn around and say that the GOP caucus won’t even agree to tax the rich when it’s their own Speaker asking them to do so. As of last night, per National Journal, GOP vote counters weren’t sure that Boehner had the votes. Grover Norquist did him a favor this morning by declaring that Plan B doesn’t violate Republicans’ no-tax pledge, and this’ll help too:

Meanwhile, though, several prominent conservatives, including Rep. Tim Huelskamp, held a presser this afternoon to denounce Plan B. The Club for Growth, which has been known to spend big to defeat wayward Republicans in primaries, came out hard against the bill today, as did the lobbying arm of the Heritage Foundation. According to The Hill’s whip count, there are at least 10 House Republicans who are either leaning no or a firm no, which leaves Boehner with little margin for error if Pelosi holds her caucus together. The point here, of course, isn’t to get Obama to sign the bill, just to stick Reid with it and force Senate Democrats to defeat something from the House that would allow tax hikes on millionaires. Ideally, seeing the House line up behind Boehner would also spur Obama to up his offer on the income threshold for the new tax hikes. It’s a messaging and negotiating game, but a lot of Republicans are off-message. Even Orrin Hatch says he’d oppose the bill. At what point do the PR returns on this gambit diminish to the point where it’s no longer worth pursuing? Or have I underestimated Boehner in thinking that he’s not prepared to walk away from negotiations if/when the House does pass this thing and leave Democrats to either pass it themselves or go over the cliff?

Conn Carroll makes the case to reluctant conservatives that this is, alas, as good as it gets:

The other reality many conveniently forget to mention is that spending is also set to be cut by $1.2 trillion. Boehner’s Plan B leaves those very real spending cuts untouched. Any deal with Obama would start by undoing the scheduled $1.2 trillion in spending cuts. Already, that is $1.2 trillion in the direction of bloated government. Plus, any deal with Obama would include far greater tax hikes than Plan B would allow, at minimum about $600 billion more. That is a total of $1.8 trillion in bigger government. How could any Republican defend that vote to their conservative constituents? Plus Plan B doesn’t raise the debt limit either. Republicans can then use that to try and restructure the sequester into meaningful entitlement reform later this year.

So conservatives have a stark choice. They can vote for Boehner’s Plan B, thus preserving the $1.2 trillion in spending cuts, and cut America’s tax burden by some $4 trillion, or they can vote against the Boehner plan and allow the full $4.6 trillion tax hike to hit their constituents. There is no possible way a better deal will come out of Boehner’s negotiations with Obama.

On the other hand, if Beohner fails to pass Plan B this week, the conservative negotiating position will be completely compromised. It will be clear no deal with conservatives is possible in the House.

Ultimately the strategic argument is an argument over how you think most House Republicans would respond to public pressure to reach a deal if we go over the cliff. Dave Weigel hears from GOPers on the Hill that they think the president, not Congress, would be blamed for any recession that ensues. I’m skeptical. The media frame won’t be “the president vs. Congress,” it’ll be “Obama vs. the Republicans,” and Obama’s brand lately polls higher than the GOP’s. Obama has the bully pulpit too: If the fiscal cliff standoff dragged on deep into January, he’d have not one but two major speeches (his inaugural and the State of the Union) in which to rally the public against the Republican position. There may well be groups of conservatives out there who’d hold the line even in the teeth of that sort of messaging onslaught. The House GOP isn’t one of them.

Update: Victory through defeat?

Boehner and other GOP leaders believe that even if the measure fails, it will show President Obama that Republicans won’t vote for a “fiscal cliff” deal unless it includes significant spending cuts.

“[GOP leaders] are just now trying to come up with some raw numbers and then I’m sure there’ll be decisions after that but I think he’s going to go through with it regardless,” the lawmaker said. “It would show the president that he doesn’t even have the votes for [tax cuts] with no [spending] cuts.”

So the bet is that Obama will cave on spending rather than take us over the cliff and dare House Republicans to hold the line even as middle-class tax rates lurch upward? I’ll take that bet.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

Explain your numbers. Is that 4 year figure you quote inclusive of Democrat control of the White House, Senate, and the House for the first two years?

You know, those years where libs could have gotten anything they wanted without a single GOP vote?

And how, exactly, did ObamaCare get passed with all this manic obstructionism.

BobMbx on December 19, 2012 at 8:33 PM

This low IQ communist scum will only spread lies… He does not want to know facts and even if he knows the facts he will just ignore them and lie… That is what communist scums do…

mnjg on December 19, 2012 at 8:43 PM

Fire Boehner! We need a real man as Speaker. Cut taxes and spending.

racquetballer on December 19, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Compromising is for losers.

racquetballer on December 19, 2012 at 8:46 PM

104 comments.
I am one of many that just can’t watch the daily drama.
Elections have consequences.
I am appalled now in every visit to hotair
Wish I had a better answer then lib but….

seesalrun2 on December 19, 2012 at 9:32 PM

after four years of manic obstructionism, the chickens are coming home to roost.

sesquipedalian on December 19, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Yeah! Roostin’ on lil barry’s head and crappin’ down his neck.

Either your boy takes the deal – or he’s branded the biggest tax-raiser in history.

And even democRATs – as stupid as they are – understand less money on that paycheck and a bigger number in the tax column.

Solaratov on December 19, 2012 at 9:39 PM

For all the bizitching, I think Boehner knows we’re going over the cliff. Cloward and Piven forget that Chaos often eats his invoker, so the cliff is pretty much 0bama’s plan. Boehner is doing what he can to try and be sure the cliff-jump is 0bama’s doing.

I think some folks on our side are hoping we’d go down with a perfect bill that gives everybody a pony and a beej. But all that would do is give 0bama the pony-and-beej provisions to make the cliff dive all the fault of Republican intransigence. Boehner wants to, next month, be able to say, “Look, we gave you this, we gave you that, and you still said NO! YOU were the ones holding out for YOUR ponies-and-beejes.”

Sekhmet on December 19, 2012 at 9:47 PM

For all the bizitching, I think Boehner knows we’re going over the cliff.

Sekhmet on December 19, 2012 at 9:47 PM

Understatement of the century.

Doesn’t matter if they tax under $1M, over or whatever. The economy is going to tank in near future.

Time for the “educated idiots” to find out just how “educated” they really are. OWS/liberals/lifetime welfare should learn and the more painful the way the better.

riddick on December 19, 2012 at 11:05 PM

I do like this phased in debt increase idea.

AshleyTKing on December 20, 2012 at 12:23 AM

IMO, this is an excellent gambit by Boehner. Slightly risky, but brave nonetheless. For those who are dissin on him, be reminded that the GOP controls only the House, not the Senate or the Presidency. You got to play with the cards you’re dealt with. Just cos you don’t get everything you want, you don’t whine bout it. And for the L.I.B crowd, those in the House were not elected to Let It Burn. Boehner, as a minority player (just the House, not Senate or WH), is playing very skillfully here. It would be good for the GOP rank and file to grudgingly support him.

tommy71 on December 20, 2012 at 4:25 AM

It’s a tax increase that does nothing. What’s the point?

Why pvssy out on just passing Simpson-Bowles, that’s a tax increase that also contains real spending cuts?

MNHawk on December 20, 2012 at 8:31 AM

Obama has the balls to accuse Boehner of sticking to his extreme ideology when Obama is ideologically obsessed with raising taxes on the rich even though it doesn’t make a dent in the deficit. Up is down.

ctmom on December 20, 2012 at 8:31 AM

Boehner wants to, next month, be able to say, “Look, we gave you this, we gave you that, and you still said NO! YOU were the ones holding out for YOUR ponies-and-beejes.”

Sekhmet on December 19, 2012 at 9:47 PM

Yeah, so he says it and less than a handful of folks will hear it from their control media filters–and those that do will just shrug and recognize how weak and divided the GOP resistance to pure socialism is… while they increase their demands for even more from the government money tree and increase their public indecency knowing they have the approval of the fallen decadent masses. Washington and the administration will smile as they continue to disassemble America with its God-given rights to the individual.

Don L on December 20, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Fire Boehner! We need a real man as Speaker. Cut taxes and spending.

racquetballer on December 19, 2012 at 8:45 PM

^^^^^^THIS!^^^^^^

Deano1952 on December 20, 2012 at 9:01 AM

Yeah, so he says it and less than a handful of folks will hear it from their control media filters–and those that do will just shrug and recognize how weak and divided the GOP resistance to pure socialism is… while they increase their demands for even more from the government money tree and increase their public indecency knowing they have the approval of the fallen decadent masses. Washington and the administration will smile as they continue to disassemble America with its God-given rights to the individual.

Don L on December 20, 2012 at 9:00 AM

But post-cliff, where will the socialists get the money?

Sekhmet on December 20, 2012 at 9:06 AM

Dave Weigel hears from GOPers on the Hill that they think the president, not Congress, would be blamed for any recession that ensues. I’m skeptical.

Obama has the balls to accuse Boehner of sticking to his extreme ideology when Obama is ideologically obsessed with raising taxes on the rich even though it doesn’t make a dent in the deficit. Up is down.

You guys are living in the past. The past where the US Media actually called out the lying politicians and told the American public at least a bit of the truth. Now they carry water for Owebama and the libs. Anything they are involved in is bipartisan and wonderful. Anything the GOP does that doesn’t go along with the libs is the GOP’s inability to compromise – even though it is ONLY the GOP that compromises. Two questions to prove my point: 1. Did Owebama get blamed for Fast and Furious? 2. Did Owebama get blamed for Benghazi? Extra point question: Has Owebama been blamed or held responsible in anyway for the almost $6 TRILLION he’s added to the US debt?

Boehner should refuse to sell conservatives down the river. No deal on spending unless it involves REAL cuts; no deal on the debt limit; only deal on increased taxes (Bush Tax cuts die) should be a vote of “present” unless it keeps the cuts for at least those under $1 million. (I don’t agree on tax increased for those over $1 million, but that’s a compromise that PERHAPS should be considered).

katablog.com on December 20, 2012 at 9:10 AM

Plan B is about having something to point to WHEN we go over the cliff to say that Republicans negotiated with 0bama in good faith. If we were as intransigent as 0bama has been, the media would only report our intransigence. Let 0bama be the one who didn’t compromise.

The only thing adding a further list of demands onto Plan B will do is make you feel warm and gooey inside. It won’t accomplish a bloody thing.

Sekhmet on December 20, 2012 at 9:20 AM

katablog.com on December 20, 2012 at 9:10 AM

The “mainstream” media is the enemy. It’s time we treat them like it. Never, ever be on any of their programs without having all the points down pat. Know how to address all their spin to not only make Democrats look bad but make the media itself look bad. Make it bloody obvious to the viewer that the “journalist” is a liar – call them liars to their face, not necessarily in those words, but don’t be afraid to use those words when it’ll be most effective. Hold their feet to the fire. And make sure ALL conservative “regulars” on TV are on board and no Republican gets away with not being on board so the media has no choice but to have people like you on the air, and any show that spews leftist bias with any regularity or tries to get around the fact that all conservatives are firebrands now by inviting fewer of you on should be called on it, on live TV, with statistics backing it all up and website URLs to prove the statistics memorized and given.

I’m deadly serious about this. It’s how we have to be. The media IS the enemy.

CanofSand on December 20, 2012 at 9:26 AM

If we had Nancy Pelosi on our side and she was the Speaker of the House right now… I wonder how she would handle things.

Now, I realize we sorta already have her.. but I mean seriously. If she were a Republican and was working as hard for us as she does against us… I wonder what she’d be doing right now.

Honestly.. most of the time.. I’m never really frustrated with the Democrats. It’s our side that frustrates me! It’s our side that really makes me mad!
I don’t expect Obama to act like an American. I don’t expect a Democrat to be honest or to support our constitution. So they don’t surprise me as much or frustrate me. Sicken me, sure. But not frustrate me.

It’s like getting mad at your dog for barking or chasing his tail or going back to his own vomit. He’s a dog. That’s what dogs do. Most Democrats are Marxists. You don’t get mad when they act like what they are.

But Republicans? Especially when we control the House of Representatives? All we can do is keep asking Obama to lead? Sit and wait for Obama to like what we offer? To gaze upon us and hope for a smile? Hope he is pleased with our proposals? Pass Nancy Pelosi’s fiscal cliff plan? That’s all we got?

JellyToast on December 20, 2012 at 10:06 AM

They need to do something. Of course, I expect nothing to come of this… there’ll be an eleventh hour compromise that will raise taxes on everyone, increase spending, and give ownership of the Debt limit to Obama.

They need a new Speaker. Bonner is too compliant and lacks resolve.

xmanvietnam on December 20, 2012 at 10:11 AM

“We have to protect our phoney baloney jobs here, gentlemen! We must do something about this immediately! Immediately! Immediately! Harrumph! Harrumph!”

rayra on December 20, 2012 at 12:39 PM

The only thing adding a further list of demands onto Plan B will do is make you feel warm and gooey inside. It won’t accomplish a bloody thing.

Sekhmet on December 20, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Doesn’t stop the Democrats from doing it.

alwaysfiredup on December 20, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Since long before the election OBAMA HAS SAID MILLIONAIRES NEED TO PAY MORE OF THEIR FAIR SHARE….

SO NOW BOEHNER IS GIVING HIM EXACTLY WHAT HE HAS SAID HE WANTED ALL ALONG – a tax increase on everyone making a Million dollars and above….

SO WHY IS OBAMA NOW DEMANDING NOW THAT EVERYONE MAKING $400K AND ABOVE GET A TAX INCREASE OR NO DEAL?

& The NARCISIST & Chief just held a Press Conference in which he said ‘the GOP can’t say yes to ‘ME‘ & ‘they need to take ME out of the equation’! It SHOULDN’T be about HIM, but Obama is making it ALL About HIMSELF!

Boehner has given him EXACTLY what he said he wanted…and now Obama is saying that it isn’t enough, that if HE doesn’t get what HE wants then he will let the country go over the fiscal/tax cliff!

The FACT is he doesn’t WANT a tax reduction, as he keeps moving the goal post. His plan is a bunch of CR@P to begin with – he plans to raise taxes to collect $1.6 Trillion in new revenue over the next 10 YEARS while adding $1.7 Trillion in new debt EVERY YEAR! Obama is an IDIOT – you don’t even have to have graduated high school to fgure out that plan is BOGUS & will result in OVER $15 TRILLION in NEW DEBT added in that 10 year period!

easyt65 on December 20, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Guess its just me, but,,,,

when Boehner comes out and makes his statments to the press, it is odd that he has wet socks and when he walks there is this squishey sound, sort of like he peed his pants on the way to the microphone.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 20, 2012 at 1:45 PM

If this is about “messaging” than the Boehner/Pelosi bill is a very bad place to take a stand for the Speaker, the House leadership and any other Republican representative who is prepared to vote in favor of this measure.

A number of far better proposals have been put forward including the following:

Glenn Reynolds | GOP should force Obama’s hand

Apart from the secrecy of the negotiations between the Speaker and the President, which is an anathema, the problem with the Boehner/Pelosi bill is that while it allows Boehner to say “he tried,” it also places Republicans in the awkward position of being challenged with the simple question “Were you lying then or are you lying now?”

A lot of movement conservatives, conservative leaning libertarians and T.E.A. Party people are going to be extremely disenchanted. If the objective is to weaken the coalition that supports the Republican party, so giving Democrats a realistic opportunity to retake the House in 2014, Boehner and the House leadership are doing an admirable job.

It would have been far to have put forward a principled position in open session that included tax reform, along with spending cuts (not simply reductions in spending), which leads to a balanced budget within a relatively short period of time, ie under 5 years, based on sound and very conservative assumptions of economic growth, ie around 1.2%, along with responsible entitlement reform, all of which is fully costed.

If the Senate Democrats and POTUS reject it and respond with the sort of offer that Obama did in this case, they are shown as poseurs who are not serious about addressing the fiscal challenges facing our Federal Government.

Given that the Democrats control the Senate, along with the Federal Government, at that point, Republicans can legitimately say:

“Fine, you are obviously not serious. This is not a game. You can explain why you want to raise taxes on everyone, while gutting our national security.”

“The door is open if you want to talk, in public” …. and then proceed to move on to other business.

john.frank on December 20, 2012 at 1:57 PM

As to Paul Ryan, with his vote, if he had any Presidential ambitions, IMV he can kiss them good bye.

john.frank on December 20, 2012 at 1:59 PM

The point of Plan B is to force 0bama to move the goalposts publicly. Again, the only intransigence that will be reported on would be ours. We have to keep 0bama from ending up the hero of the cliff. Asking for more cuts, further entitlement reform, holding firm on taxes—let’s all ask for ponies while we are at it?

Sekhmet on December 20, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Again, how can anyone spin this ‘Plan B’ anything but giving Obama EXACTLY WHAT HE ASKED FOR all election season long – for Millionaires to pay their own (BS) ‘Fair Share’?!

Now that the GOP has called his BLUFF – agreeing to a tax increase on everyone making a million dollars & more, suddenly Mr. ‘It’s Not About ME’ is saying this is not acceptable because it is not what HE really wants!

The GOP should IMMEDITELY pass this bill – without agreeing to the MORONIC request to eliminate the debt eiling for the next1-2 years so Obama can spend as much as he wants (while violating the constitution in doing so)! Obama WILL bawk & refuse to sign it, exposing him to be a LIAR & his true intent to have taxes raised on everyone even more than he already has through Obamacare!

easyt65 on December 20, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Now that the GOP has called his BLUFF – agreeing to a tax increase on everyone making a million dollars & more, suddenly Mr. ‘It’s Not About ME’ is saying this is not acceptable because it is not what HE really wants!

easyt65 on December 20, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Funny, I used the exact same words when I wrote on this yesterday: Boehner Calls Obama’s Bluff.

Think what you will about the tax increase, either way, it cuts Obama off at the knees in the negotiations.

right of the dial on December 20, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Obama said he wants Millionaires to pay more of their (BS) Fair Share…

Boehner gives in & agrees to a deal where the taxes for everyone making a million dollars and above have their taxes raised…

Obama just said he would veto that bill if it passes the House & Senate…

WTF?!

Harry Reid just stated if he could tell Boehner anything right now it would be to drop ‘Plan B’ & get back to the White House to start negotiating again with the President
— Didn’t Harry Reid hear the President this morning when he said he wished the GOP would leave HIM (Obama) out of this whole thing?!

Someone needs to either can an Exorcist or a Psychiatrist for Obama —

On one hand Obama says ‘I am not budging because I campaigned on this massive tax increase – highe taxes on $250,000 & above – & I WON’…WHILE he continues to hyporitically / confussingly claim to want millionaires to pay more….THEN claims he wants the GOP to take HIM out of the equation & ‘do what is right for the nation’…& when he gets his millionaire tax increase HE injects HIMSELF back into the equation by saying that is not what HE wants & that HE will Veto it if it is passed….

Perhaps all those drugs he was doing & selling in college has finally taken its toll on him….

easyt65 on December 20, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Comment pages: 1 2