Open thread: The Plan B vote; Update: Boehner calls conference meeting for 7:45; Update: Vote canceled; Update: No more action until after Christmas

posted at 7:04 pm on December 20, 2012 by Allahpundit

We all know the stakes — or do we? Plan B is, at base, a messaging ploy designed to convince the public that, if we go over the cliff, it’s because Obama and the damned Democrats wouldn’t take yes for an answer on taxing millionaires. But will the public receive that message?

The latest polling shows that if the country falls over the cliff, 48 percent of Americans will blame GOP leader John Boehner. Only 37 percent said they would blame the president.

“The optics of this favor the president and the Democrats,” Kondik says. “Honestly, how many people are paying attention to Boehner’s ‘Plan B?’ This is a more difficult fight for the Republicans than it is for the president.”

If the PR value is thin, then why’d Boehner do it? Because, for the moment, he can’t get the votes he needs on a deal with Obama:

Republican officials said that members of the GOP leadership had balked at the terms that were emerging. Democrats said Boehner’s abrupt decision to shift to his Plan B — legislation drafted unilaterally by Republicans — reflected a calculation that he lacked support from his own rank and file to win the votes needed for the type of agreement he was negotiating with the president.

That’s from an AP article arguing that there’ll be more negotiations to come after Christmas, although Boehner will obviously have more leverage with Obama if tonight’s bill passes than if it fails. The House has already (barely) passed the companion bill to Plan B this evening, incidentally: The Spending Reduction Act eliminates the automatic defense cuts that were set to take effect on January 1 as part of the sequester. That bill was Boehner’s attempt to sweeten the pot on Plan B for conservatives by giving them some cuts to vote for too. It squeaked through, 215-209. The vote on Plan B itself is scheduled for 7:30 ET but could come a bit sooner or later.

Under normal circumstances, failing to hold the caucus together on a vote on which Boehner’s staked so much might be cause to start looking for a new Speaker. But the rest of the leadership has lined up behind him on this. If it fails, it’s not just his failure, it’s theirs too. Stand by for updates.

Update: Harry Reid’s top flack is milking this for all it’s worth:

Update: Democrats’ new favorite Republican wonders why we can’t all just get along.

Update: Here’s the key number from CNN’s poll today. Plan B is supposed to move these numbers towards the GOP a bit. Emphasis on “supposed to.”

Update: Hmmmmmmmmm:

Update: Keith Hennessey imagines what a viable fiscal-cliff deal based roughly on Plan B might look like:

I think the following bill could pass the House and Senate before the end of the year.

All tax rates below $700K of income are extended permanently as they are now.
Above $700K, tax rates revert permanently to their pre-2001 rates: 39.6% for income and dividends, 20% for capital gains;
the Personal Exemption Phaseout (PEP) and Pease limit on itemized deductions are not reinstated; and
the AMT is permanently patched.

In addition, I think a separate bill or bills pass to:

extend unemployment insurance in some form;
patch the Medicare “doc fix” for another year; and
delay or mitigate the spending sequester for 6-12 months.

Update: Are they going to pull the bill?

Update: Sure sounds like they’re thinking of pulling the bill:

Rep. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), on his way to see Inouye’s casket, said “I have no clue” what would happen with Plan B — and responded “I have no clue” when asked whether he planned to vote for it…

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), a key Boehner ally, emerged from the Speaker’s office suite carrying a plate of Chick-Fil-A. Asked if she knew whether her conference had the votes to pass the bill, she said, “I have no idea” before rushing away. When she was asked again later as she returned to the office, Foxx grimmaced and kept walking.

Also, Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) nodded her head “no” when asked by reporters if she thinks the House will be able to vote and pass Plan B tonight.

Update: Embarrassing:

Update: The House won’t act further until after Christmas.

Update: Krauthammer, a few hours before the non-vote: “If the ‘Plan B’ does not succeed, if he fails in the House, Boehner has a ‘Plan C.’ That’s the Mayan apocalypse tomorrow.”

Update: War?

Update: Boehner’s statement:

“The House did not take up the tax measure today because it did not have sufficient support from our members to pass. Now it is up to the president to work with Senator Reid on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff. The House has already passed legislation to stop all of the January 1 tax rate increases and replace the sequester with responsible spending cuts that will begin to address our nation’s crippling debt. The Senate must now act,” he said in a statement.

Update: Brutal:


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 5 6 7

karenhasfreedom on December 21, 2012 at 7:02 AM

You’re not alone, Ms. Karen. Here’s my take.

kingsjester on December 21, 2012 at 7:35 AM

PURGE the so called “leadership” of the republicans in the Congress!!!

……..both houses and then tell Obama/Reid to stuff it.

But THAT would require guts.

PappyD61 on December 21, 2012 at 8:05 AM

Nicely summarized, karenhasfreedom.

Another take on the fruitlessness of placing the negotiations into the hands of the “three wise men” of DC:
http://spectator.org/archives/2012/12/20/the-three-not-so-wise-men-of-w

onlineanalyst on December 21, 2012 at 8:07 AM

Let it go over the cliff and crash then we can sort through the rubble and try to make something useful out of this mess. These political idiots have managed to take a once great Republic and turn it into a disgusting disaster. There is absolutely no leadership in this government and this fiasco is about all one could expect from these dolts. Thank you enlightened voters, you really stuck it to us this time, now get ready to reap what you sowed

rplat on December 21, 2012 at 8:19 AM

Maybe it’s time for Tea Partiers to consider killing the Republican Party. America is a two-party republic. There can only be two. If the Republican leadership cannot be brought back to the right, then maybe it is time for this party to go the way of the Whigs.

Reform or Die, Gadsden.

Cricket624 on December 21, 2012 at 8:20 AM

Maybe it’s time for Tea Partiers to consider killing the Republican Party. America is a two-party republic. There can only be two. If the Republican leadership cannot be brought back to the right, then maybe it is time for this party to go the way of the Whigs.

Reform or Die, Gadsden.

Cricket624 on December 21, 2012 at 8:20 AM

Agree with you that it’s time to kill the GOP, disagree that America is a two-party republic. It wasn’t designed to be that way. In fact, originally the 2nd place POTUS candidate became VP originally. But we allowed the politicians to turn us into a two-party system, just as we allowed Senators to become unanswerable to State Govt. LIB.

AH_C on December 21, 2012 at 8:28 AM

What a loser…,.

libfreeordie on December 21, 2012 at 8:31 AM

I had an uncle, a very successful businessman, who used to say, “I’ll be glad to pay my taxes. Just so long as I can make the money to afford them.” I used to agree with him. Of course, this was when paying taxes was seen as a necessary evil to fund the government. Now that taxes are nothing more than taking from me to give to another at the point of the proverbial gun, I’m not so inclined to be successful, anymore. The government has sucked the incentive to be successful right out of the game. Short of a completely new party or change in leadership (I’m not holding my breath) it seems going Galt may be the way of the future.

totherightofthem on December 21, 2012 at 8:37 AM

This failure should mean the end of Boehner’s speakership. Here’s hoping.

totherightofthem on December 21, 2012 at 8:39 AM

Maybe it’s time for Tea Partiers to consider killing the Republican Party. America is a two-party republic. There can only be two. If the Republican leadership cannot be brought back to the right, then maybe it is time for this party to go the way of the Whigs.

Reform or Die, Gadsden.

Cricket624 on December 21, 2012 at 8:20 AM

+1… I’m in…

Khun Joe on December 21, 2012 at 8:48 AM

Boehner needs to be GONE!

michaelo on December 21, 2012 at 8:50 AM

If Boehner was indeed a man of character, he would resign as Speaker and step aside for someone else to take his place.

Its the right thing to do!

belad on December 21, 2012 at 9:09 AM

And who pray tell is going to replace Boehner?? I think that Cantor is savvier and he clearly wants the job, but he is also living in the real world. The Rs lost the election. Obama is going to get his pound of flesh and he is going to blame the Rs for it. There are some people who seem to live in a parallel universe where Romney won the election.

I do think that the Rs need to get away from old white guy leaders. Everyone gets it.. Heck even SC gets that. That is the main appeal of Paul Ryan, Bobby Jindal, Nikki Haley, and Marco Rubio. All are Gen X Reagan babies. However, changing cosmetics isn’t enough. The leader must also be smart and realistic and get what is possible. All the House conference got with their little charade is to show everyone that they are too wedded to the idea of keeping Warren Buffet’s tax cuts low that they are willing to vote against other tax cut extensions. Smooth PR there guys.

As for the so called cons purge, I hope that Boehner goes through with his threats. The four cons in question were purged for being uncompromising jerks. In fact, I think that the Budget committee inclusions were at Paul Ryan’s behest as the two in question nearly tanked his budget last year. For instance, Marsha Blackburn, I believe, should lose her new seat on the Budget Committee. You don’t deliberately undermine the leadership on something this important and get to hang out with the cool kids.

Illinidiva on December 21, 2012 at 9:13 AM

We need a speaker who is out to make Obama look stupid at every chance, stop Obama’s plans, and who can organize and understand his own party.

William Eaton on December 21, 2012 at 12:26 AM

Had to sign off last night. I agree with your take on this. We do indeed need a new Speaker, one with the courage that those that opposed Boehner & his plan last night. Whether the R’s/Conservatives would support electing a replacement is doubtful imo.

Jim Jordan, Chair of the Republican Study Committee was on Levin last night and said the Rules Committee would not allow an amendment he had.
So, there is that. Jordan and Boehner bumped heads over the CCB issue before.

bluefox on December 21, 2012 at 9:38 AM

We’re outflanked and will soon be overrun. We have no fallback positions or reserves. Just peachy.

claudius on December 21, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Update: The House won’t act further until after Christmas.
——

What awesome priorities your buddies have.

Dave Rywall on December 21, 2012 at 9:47 AM

There is one thing that might lend some relief. If the market starts to tank today and continues into next week, the Democrats could find themselves in a very dark place. Helluva job, Republicans.

claudius on December 21, 2012 at 9:49 AM

Oh, goody, now dear leader gets to leave for his Hawaii vacation with a clear conscience. He and Mooch won’t have to take separate planes which should save us some moolah.

Kissmygrits on December 21, 2012 at 9:53 AM

I genuinely find myself believing, with increasingly greater frequency, that the GOP-e actually devotes a not-inconsiderable amount of time to devising ways of suppressing conservative votes just a little bit more each electoral cycle than they somehow managed in the last. Nothing else even remotely makes sense, really. ;)

Kent18 on December 21, 2012 at 12:34 AM

I first noticed it with Sarah Palin and it’s gotten worse since. The Establishment Republican “good ole boy” clan do exactly what you’ve described. They work against Conservatives and the Tea Party. And in doing so, they work right along with the Dems who also hate those 2 groups.

Cantor has been on my traitor list for sometime for supporting Lugar over Mourdock in Indiana. He should have been brought up on Ethic charges and forced to resign; but he’s a friend of Boehner’s.

bluefox on December 21, 2012 at 9:54 AM

FOX Business is about to spiral into hysteria over “the fiscal cliff”.

Lest we forget……..BOEHNER agreed to this crapfest because he didn’t want to stand on principle last “crisis”.

Lying Politicians…….JAIL.

PappyD61 on December 21, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Looks like some R’s are still looking forward to Romney’s inauguration.

Bmore on December 21, 2012 at 9:58 AM

T he media will blame ANYONE BUT OBAMA…….so who cares.

The election is over.

Let the media go ballistic…….THEY are traitors to the Republic.

PappyD61 on December 21, 2012 at 9:59 AM

What a loser…,.

libfreeordie on December 21, 2012 at 8:31 AM

Acceptance is the first key to recovery. Nice to see you moving forward. Your work at Morehouse is paying big dividends.

Bmore on December 21, 2012 at 10:00 AM

80 or 90 so years of clear evidence that the Federal Goverment is under the control of a TWO PARTY EVIL MONEY CULT.

The leadership of the two parties and the elite who fund them have usurped our constitution.

Stand our ground, support the few the proud who now man the front lines in the House, and the even fewer in the Senate.

Elect more and know it is going to be a long and bitter fight.

Some of U.S. will know of a Valley Forge winter or so in our lives.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 21, 2012 at 10:35 AM

One of the lessons my daughter has found difficult to accept over the last three years is that death is inevitable and, despite the pain it may cause you personally, is a kindness compared to other paths.

The trust was betrayed by politicians of both parties who have tried the “extend and pretend” game over the last four years to avoid the pain of a multi-generational correction in markets. By doing so, they have guaranteed instead something much worse. They have willfully put us on other, uglier paths.

May God have mercy on them … because if a complete global financial collapse occurs I suspect many of them will come to “unexpected” ends.

PolAgnostic on December 21, 2012 at 12:56 AM

Death is a difficult reality unless it’s understood and viewed from Scripture. Isaiah 57:1,2 is one among many that may be helpful.

I know from reading your posts that you understand the Global Economy and the greed and power that has brought us to this dire danger. I’ve passed on a few of your suggestions to those that I thot may listen and some have, but not enough.

These that have done this,thinking that they have the wisdom to control the World, remind me of those Engineers that try by meddling to control the mighty Rivers.

bluefox on December 21, 2012 at 10:39 AM

THEY are traitors to the Republic.

PappyD61 on December 21, 2012 at 9:59 AM

Yes they are!!

bluefox on December 21, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Boehner did not purge “conservatives”. There were FOUR members of the House who were purged. They were not purged for being “conservative”. They were purged for being jackweasels. How does one sit on Paul Ryan’s committee and vote against Ryan’s budget and call themselves a Republican? There are a lot more than four conservatives in the House. These four people according to their own peers were pretty much jackasses to work with. From all accounts I have heard, they pretty much deserved to be kicked out. They were “my way or the highway” sorts and so they got the highway. They asked for it and they got it.

Those five Senate seats that the “true conservatives” handed to the Democrats are looming large now.

crosspatch on December 21, 2012 at 1:36 AM

They were stripped of their Committees because they didn’t vote in lock step with Boehner. They were not elected to represent Boehner and Company. They were elected by the Voters in their States and are to support their Constituents. All U.S. House Reps are to do that since it is what they campaigned on and were voted for.

Boehner, Cantor & McCarthy like their power and want to dictate. They did the same thing yesterday, threatening again those members and also those that had Sub-Committee slots.

You need to learn to tell the bad guys from the good guys.

bluefox on December 21, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Boehner had spent weeks negotiating with his members and the president. But in this final hour, when he needed Republicans most, he had only a prayer.
r keller on December 21, 2012 at 2:21 AM

Boehner spent weeks in secret talks with Obama. Then whatever those two agreed on he tried to sell to the R’s. Had he negotiated with his members and then with Obama he may have had a different outcome. No amount of spin changes the facts.

Obama>Boehner>R House. That was the problem.

bluefox on December 21, 2012 at 11:09 AM

In response to all the “principled” commenters playing an awesome fantasy game of “Shoot Yourself in the Foot”this says it all for me.

As a reminder, Ron Paul is allegedly the most “principled” congressman out there on fiscal issues. Who did most of his ardent fans who didn’t stay home vote for? Obama.

Buy Danish on December 21, 2012 at 11:09 AM

What percentage of what exactly has Boehner won for Republicans since being elected Speaker in 2011?

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm??????

PolAgnostic on December 21, 2012 at 2:36 AM

Good retorts. Boehner/McConnell/Reid, the 3 muskeeters have given Obama everything he’s wanted.

bluefox on December 21, 2012 at 11:16 AM

As for the so called cons purge, I hope that Boehner goes through with his threats. The four cons in question were purged for being uncompromising jerks. In fact, I think that the Budget committee inclusions were at Paul Ryan’s behest as the two in question nearly tanked his budget last year. For instance, Marsha Blackburn, I believe, should lose her new seat on the Budget Committee. You don’t deliberately undermine the leadership on something this important and get to hang out with the cool kids.

Illinidiva on December 21, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Justin Amash was elected to represent MI-3, not to kiss Boehner and Ryan’s rear.

David Schweikert was elected to represent AZ-5, not to kiss Boehner and Ryan’s rear.

Tim Huelskamp was elected to represent KS-1, not to kiss Boehner and Ryan’s rear.

Walter Jones was elected to represent NC-3, not to kiss Boehner and Ryan’s rear.

Marsha Blackburn was elected to represent TN-7, not to kiss Boehner and Ryan’s rear.

The fact that you think every Republican should go mindlessly along with Boehner is pathetic. The fact that you think the Republican party actually cares about turning this country around is pathetic.

topdawg on December 21, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Apparently they were all elected to undermine the R party’s leadership and make boneheaded political decisions.

Illinidiva on December 21, 2012 at 12:09 PM

These that have done this,thinking that they have the wisdom to control the World, remind me of those Engineers that try by meddling to control the mighty Rivers.

bluefox on December 21, 2012 at 10:39 AM

.
One of the things they taught us back in engineering school …

… some problems do not HAVE solutions.

The Corps of Engineers provided 90+ % of the examples

Problem: Beach erosion
Corps Solution: Build giant concrete wall
Result: Beach completely disappeared)

Global Warming is another case study of a large government agency (NASA) declaring a problem exists …

(global temperatures rising … except it stopped 10+ years ago)

… and is going to get much worse based on their analysis …

(except we don’t have supercomputers large enough to handle the computer models needed & won’t for another 10 – 15 years)

…through computer simulations …

(we don’t have the technology to build the computer models due to the minimum number of variables required to model not just the Earth but a fair sized chunk of our galaxy)…

…because it turns out the Sun’s activity and other stars going nova have a large impact on cloud formation here on Earth.

These are relatively benign compared to Bernanke deciding to “fix the capital markets problems” by going to a centrally managed economy.

PolAgnostic on December 21, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Good retorts. Boehner/McConnell/Reid, the 3 muskeeters have given Obama everything he’s wanted.

bluefox on December 21, 2012 at 11:16 AM

.
I tried not to get peevish but comparing the Reagan Revolution to the Boehner Blanch?

Reagan took 8 years and got 75 – 85 % the Conservative wish list.

Boehner has been folding like a house of cards for the last 2 years and is batting .000 against the Democrats.

PolAgnostic on December 21, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Danny on December 21, 2012 at 3:35 AM

I’m just wondering how raising taxes on everyone and allowing Obama the credit for the inevitable “middle class tax cut” advances the cause for limited government. Especially if Boehner winds up handing the gavel back to Nancy Pelosi in 2015 because of it.
DRayRaven on December 21, 2012 at 6:25 AM

The fiscal cliff was created by politicians who don’t care about honestly managing our federal debt. The taxes will increase on everyone because of the supercommittee’s incompetence, and the refusal of Democrats to sacrifice any significant cuts to entitlements.

This disaster wasn’t due to the conservatives who refuse to increase taxes on a subgroup of the population, leaving the others untouched.

However, as per usual, the Republicans suck on the messaging and marketing front. If they refuse to use their PACs to continue with campaign messaging about the truth regarding spending and the debt, they deserve to lose.

Regardless, it doesn’t matter who wins elections anymore, in 2014 or 2015 or whenever in the future. This country financially is heading down a triple black diamond run, and none of the politicians who got us here care that we’re not wearing any skis. We’re all going to end up eating snow, the question is, how fast will we fall?

There is no compromise any more. It doesn’t matter what Obama does with middle class tax cuts. If the $ isn’t worth anything anymore, it is moot.

The country voted for these jerks. They are to this country what HIV is to a human being. There may be a delay of years, but then the patient who isn’t treated dies. The difference here is that it is too late to do anything about is anymore.

Bring the pain. I guarantee, these parasitic politicians will one day be accountable.

Danny on December 21, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Top R source who’s anti-Plan B tells me this doesn’t threaten Boehner’s speakership — but does portend GOP intra-party war.

Give the speakership back to Pelosi – let them own everything they do. Let the conservatives continue to vote against tax hikes and any impotence in leadership can be blamed on Pelosi.

Let her try to get enough dims and liberal republicans to back her schemes – this is really how it ought to be anyway.

The time is well past due to stand up and say that Conservatives will just “take it” without fighting back.

LET THEM FIGHT.

FIRE BOEHNER

HondaV65 on December 21, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Buy Danish on December 21, 2012 at 11:09 AM

You pushed for Romney hard for over a year. You have been discredited.

Daemonocracy on December 21, 2012 at 9:30 PM

Comment pages: 1 5 6 7