Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) said that he did not have enough votes among the party to support his "Plan B," Nancy Pelosi approved, tax proposal. The statement came on Thursday evening to members of his own conference.
The plan was to extend current tax rates except for those making more than $1 million.
"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."
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), one of the four who were purged by Boehner and the GOP leadership from the committee he was on, said, “I’m very excited. We defeated Plan B and, hopefully, we’ll come back with a reasonable Republican plan after Christmas."
Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) told reporters that he was not going to vote for Plan B because it would have broken the tax pledge he made back in 2010.
“I was not going to vote for it. I respected those that (were going to) and I respected the effort to get the votes to pass it,” he said.
The Congressman said, “I think you need to have a conversation with the American people. They voted for divided government. The two parties have a difference of view of where the country needs to go."
"I’m not real happy with the phrase of going over the cliff," he continued. "That’s what most people say. I think you just have to keep trying to find, as our leadership team did, try to find a middle ground, and get the votes here and that the president might accept. That was just a herculean job."
Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) said of the plan, "Well, of course I disagreed with it. You’ll have to be the judge of whether it was a good idea, but I disagreed with it."
In defending Boehner Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH) said, "It's the same 40 chuckleheads that screwed this place up. (Boehner's) done everything to make nice to them."
To which one has to respond "chuckleheads?" Seriously Congressman? Boehner has been in charge of the House for the past three years and what have we gotten. That's right, we've gotten over a trillion dollars in spending deficits, so this is not the "chuckleheads'," as you refer to them, fault. It's the leaderships.
Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) jumped on the bandwagon too asking, "Is this the best we can do? Is this the best we can do for John Boehner?"
Thus Kelly demonstrates exactly the problem with Washington. It's apparently about doing something for "them." In this matter it just happens to be about scratching John Boehner's back. How about something more correct, like "Is this the best we can do for the American people?"
RINOs seem to hate it when people in the party they affiliate themselves with want to hold them to their word and the principles they give lip service to.
Now, in the America of old, the hypocrisy of Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi openly declaring that they would now oppose the plan put forth by Boehner, which Pelosi has previously put forth would be called out in the media, but there is no such thing going on.
On the sidelines, senior administration officials were claiming Thursday that Boehner turned to "Plan B" because he concluded he couldn't garner enough support for Obama's counterproposal in the House. That proposal would raise taxes only on income above $400,000, though Carney indicated that might not be Obama's final offer.
Boehner spokesman Michael Steel called the theory "stupid and untrue." He said Boehner was always clear "that he could not support the president's plan, let alone recommend it to members of the House."
Boehner claimed Thursday that the problem is Obama is "unwilling to stand up to his own party" and demand serious spending cuts. "I did my part -- they did nothing," Boehner said, referencing his willingness to discuss raising tax rates.
It's unclear whether Boehner and Obama will return to the negotiating table -- or, as Boehner's statement implied, the House might simply await action on the Senate side.
So it appears that Congress will break for Christmas and not deal with what they claim is a serious issue facing the nation. Instead they will wait until after Christmas and then try again.