It sounds like Speaker Boehner is angling to push the fiscal-cliff onus back onto Senate Democrats and the president before the holidays hit with his Plan-B gambit, especially now in the light that the Senate is taking off until the Thursday after Christmas — which will leave a mere five days to cobble together any type of deal upon their return. The big question, of course, was whether or not the move would be at all worthwhile, since there are plenty of conservatives expressing their vociferous opposition to said plan and getting it through the House is by no means a given.
At a press conference Thursday, however, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor insisted that they have the votes they need and are getting ready to make moves, via Politico:
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said unequivocally Thursday that Speaker John Boehner’s fiscal cliff fallback plan would pass the lower chamber later in the day — at the same time his party’s leadership was working privately to shore up support.
The so-called Plan B Boehner is pushing would extend tax rates for income below $1 million but force families making over that threshold to pay Clinton-era rates of nearly 40 percent. Late Wednesday night, Republican leaders incorporated a proposal to spare the Pentagon from looming spending cuts and shift the reductions to other agencies.
Cantor, the No. 2 House Republican, said the plan is the “nation’s best option.”
“Senate Democrats should take up these measures immediately,” Cantor said in the Capitol. “And the president has a decision to make, he can support these measures, or be responsible for reckless spending and the largest tax hike in American history.”
If the House does pass their own version of a fiscal-cliff package, then perhaps that will get the Democrats to finally come forward with more spending cuts, or the GOP might at least presumably have better leverage for pinning an over-the-cliff scenario on the Democrats — but of course, the Senate leader is having none of that. Via The Hill:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday the Senate will not vote on Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) “Plan B” to extend tax rates for family income below $1 million. …
“We are not taking up any of the things that they’re working on over there now,” Reid told reporters. “It’s very, very, very unfortunate the Republicans have wasted an entire week on a number of pointless political stunts.”
“The bill has no future, if they don’t know it now, tell them what I said,” he added.
“The Senate bill is the only one that will be signed into law. We could protect middle-class families tomorrow,” Reid said. “The Speaker refuses to bring our bill to the floor because it would pass.”
Uhm, is he referring to the Senate bill that raises taxes on families making more than $250,000/year as the only one that can or should pass the House? What is he talking about? We’re debating right now whether Plan B with its rate hikes on millionaires can even pass the House, let alone President Obama’s no-compromising-on-taxes-for-this-guy proposal. Stop the madness:
“If all you do is whack the so-called rich, you only get enough money about a week of government. So let’s be clear about something: he wants to soak everybody. That’s the only way to do it. And that is exactly what he gets if we do nothing. If that wasn’t obvious before this week, it should be perfectly obvious now.“Here we are less than a week before Christmas, and what’s this President doing?
“What’s his quarterback here in the Senate, the Majority Leader doing?
“They’ve been playing Lucy and the Football with the American people for months. They’ve said no to every single proposal that’s been offered to avoid this tax hike — including their own. They’re running out the clock. Moving the goal posts. Sitting on their hands. They aren’t doing anything.
“Well I say ‘Enough’. Enough. The time for games is over.
“This President may want to soak the American people to fund his vision of a social welfare state. But we’re not going to let him do it.