Even if Speaker John Boehner‚??s ‚??Plan B‚?Ě tax proposal, a fiscal cliff negotiating ploy that raises taxes on those making a $1 million per year but preserves cuts for everyone else, had passed the House it would never see a Senate vote according to Majority leader Harry Reid.
And even if it passed in the Senate, President Barack Obama has promised to veto it.
So the only reason the House would move forward with a vote on Thursday night was, one assumes, for tactical reasons. As Karl Rove, writing in the Wall Street Journal, observed, Boehner would evidently deny ‚??President Obama the easy target he thought he had in the post-election GOP. The speaker has undercut the White House’s strategy of attacking congressional Republicans as do-nothing troglodytes and kept his party unified in a situation with no easy or obvious answers.‚?Ě
I’m skeptical that voting for a tax increase will give Republicans any leverage in the fiscal cliff negotiations, but, and I’m no Machiavelli, I’m pretty sure you have to pass the bill to make the messaging stick.
It didn’t look good from the get-go, and then Republicans called a closed-door conference to try and whip up votes. In the end, Boehner was forced to pull the bill because the conservative faction wouldn’t go along with his plan. Congress is off until after Christmas and we’re left to ask why Boehner put himself in this position.
His statement is below:
‚??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.‚?Ě