is in the process of whipping votes for a 7:30 p.m. vote on his “Plan B” legislation, Politico’s
The other is the “Spending Reduction Act of 2012,” which his office said would replace the sequester and reduce the deficit by an additional $242 billion. The House passed this bill in May, but it was never taken up in the Senate. Among other things, it cuts funding for Medicaid, the federal food-stamp program, and the Affordable Care Act.
The spending cut measure, which was added to the agenda late Wednesday, is evidence that GOP House leaders did not believe that they had the votes to pass “Plan B” alone.
Boehner is scheduled to hold a press conference at 1:15 p.m. ET today. We’ll be updating here with all your “Plan B” news.
The Hill counts 23 Republican House members that are “leaning no” on Plan B.
That’s the limit for passage, if no Democrats break rank.
The full list here:
PELOSI: ‘It’s time for Republicans to end their bills to nowhere.’
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said at her weekly press briefing that Congress is moving “farther away from a deal” to avert the fiscal cliff.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has come out in support of “Plan B.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a conservative business lobby, declared its support for Boehner’s “Plan B” Thursday afternoon, putting out an open letter to members of the House that calls the bill “an absolute prerequisite to addressing our deficit and debt problems.”
The letter also adds a caveat, saying that the organization would be “much more at ease” if the bill also addressed government spending cuts and entitlement reform. It adds that the Chamber is “not comfortable” with raising taxes, but understands that “at times, politics requires compromise.”
Here’s the full text of the letter:
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, urges your support for the substitute amendment to H.J. Res. 66 and H.R. 6684, the socalled Plan B. Maintaining economic growth is an absolute prerequisite to addressing our deficit and debt problems. Going over the fiscal cliff and allowing the largest tax increase in our history would certainly severely hamper if not totally eliminate economic growth for the near term. Thus, Plan B, which would extend the current tax rates for 99.81 percent of the American people – all but those making over $1 million, patch the alternative minimum tax (AMT), extend current estate tax levels, and creates parity for capital gains and dividends taxes, and replace the sequestration spending cuts with more thoughtful spending restraint, is a viable option.
However, the Chamber believes that the sole benefit of this legislation is that it averts going off the fiscal cliff. It does not address our excessive government spending, does not reform our unsustainable entitlement programs, and does not achieve fundamental comprehensive tax reform. Indeed, a case could be made that by eliminating the exigency brought on by the approaching cliff, that this bill makes it less likely that Congress and the Administration will address these important issues in the near future. We would be much more at ease with our support for this bill, if it contained assurances and a mechanism to achieve these important long run goals.
The Chamber believes that extending the current tax rates for all while building a pathway to a bigger deal with fundamental entitlement reform and fundamental comprehensive tax reform is clearly the best policy. Moreover, we are not comfortable allowing tax increases on anyone in this environment. However, we understand that, at times, politics requires compromise. Thus, we support passage of H.J. Res. 66 and H.R. 6684.
R. Bruce Josten
Top conservative group FreedomWorks flips and now OPPOSES Boehner’s plan.
Last night, the conservative group FreedomWorks came out in favor of John Boehner’s “Plan B” legislation. They’ve now flipped.
Here’s a look at their flip-flop on their site. The headline on the page still says “Two Cheers For Boehner’s Plan B.”
Keeping score, that means FreedomWorks joins RedState, Heritage Action and Club for Growth in opposing Plan B.
Boehner: “Senate Democrats and the White House haven’t done much of anything.”
He warned Senate Democrats must bring Plan B to the floor before Senate adjourns or “be responsible for the largest tax hike in history.”
Despite Reid’s threat to kill the Plan B bill in the Senate, Boehner says he is “not convinced” th ebill will die in the Senate.
John Boehner is up.
Boehner’s press conference is starting…
White House: ‘Plan B is a multi-day exercise in futility”
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Thursday that Republicans had “walked away” from a compromise with Obama. “Plan B,” Carney said, “is a multi-day exercise in futility, at a time when we don’t have days to spare.”
The Plan B bill, Carney added, is a “matter of internal House Republican politics.”
Carney added that “there is still time for a compromise on a big bill” to avoid the fiscal cliff.
REID: ‘Until Republicans take up our bill … there is nothing to discuss.”
In a press conference of Senate Democrats, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Democrats will not take up the bill if it passes the House.
“Let me be absolutely clear: Speaker Boehner’s plans are nonstarters in the Senate,” Reid said, calling it a “pointless political stunt.”
New York Sen. Schumer adds: “Plan B is not taken seriously by anyone in America.” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, meanwhile, compared Boehner’s strategy to “Thelma & Louise” — hitting the gas to go over the cliff.
Obama To Visit Wounded Warriors At Walter Reed Today
As Republicans prepare to vote on “Plan B,” the White House has updated the President’s schedule today to include a visit with Wounded Warriors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center this afternoon.
Eric Cantor: “We have the votes” to pass “Plan B”
In a press conference Thursday morning, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said that Republicans have the votes to pass both the “Plan B” bill, as well as the related spending cuts bill.
He added that Republican leaders don’t plan on sending members home after the vote.
New poll shows why Boehner has a lot to lose if Plan B doesn’t pass.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor will hold a press conference on Plan B at 11:10.