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Friday, December 21, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Plan B Dies

By Susan Duclos

John Boehner put plan B before the House members in private, all day, and did not have enough votes to pass it, so pulled it, without taking a vote.

Plan B is dead... sort of.... sort of.

Boehner’s statement — released after the closed meeting in the House basement — seemed to hand off the the nation’s fiscal crisis to Democrats.

“Now it is up to the president to work with Sen. Reid on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff,” Boehner said Thursday night.

Boehner’s Republican Conference has relegated their negotiator to the sidelines. Now, Republicans will see why Boehner was willing to offer Obama so much: The final deal Republicans will now have to swallow will be driven by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Obama.

“He’s tried his best,” said Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio), a longtime Boehner confidant who is leaving Congress at the end of the year. “But sometimes your best isn’t good enough in the face of some people that just don’t want to find common ground.”

Rep. Buck McKeon, a California Republican who has served with Boehner for two decades, said what happened to the speaker is a “real shame.”

“He has worked his heart out to try to get the best deal he can, and to have this happen is very sad for the country,” McKeon said.

If Boehner has pulled out of the negotiations and now Harry Reid and Obama will fashion a deal, then how on earth will said deal, which will be far more unacceptable to House Republicans, pass the House to make it to Obama's desk?

Unless all Democrats in the House vote for it with enough Republicans to garner 218 votes, it isn't possible. If enough Republicans do join in to get an Obama/Reid plan passed through the House, the 2014 elections are going to be a nightmare for the GOP.

Is this all some sort of theater?

[Update] Technically, Boehner can wait  until Obama and the Senate pass their deal, then show House Republicans how bad that deal would be for the country, then offer them a choice of the Plan B and Obama/Reids, allow a vote on both.

There isn't a whole lot of time to maneuver here, so hopefully Boehner has a plan C....

(Corrections made to this post- I know better than to write before my second cup of coffee- sorry)