Sources: Plan B Vote 'Never Even Close'
Despite claims from leadership on late Thursday morning that Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) "Plan B" tax proposal had enough votes to pass the House, insiders say that Plan B was not just defeated, it was not even a close vote.
Radio host Rush Limbaugh discussed the failure of the measure to avert the fiscal cliff on his show Friday:
From what I've been told—and if want to be, I'm connected. If I want to call somebody in the House and get some information, I can. I don't a lot. But if I want to, I can.
In this situation I did, and what I have been told by a bunch of people is that the speaker was never even close to having the votes for Plan B, folks. This whole thing was a giant roll of the dice...
It was really risky even calling the vote.
The New York Times reported Friday that Plan B fell about 20 votes short of what was needed within the GOP conference to make it to the House floor. :
“We had calls to our office, and people said they were not in favor of Plan B,” said Ms. Blackburn, referring to Mr. Boehner’s plan. In terms of her role on the whip team, Ms. Blackburn said, “I am here to represent my constituents.”
Mr. Boehner acknowledged Friday that “there was a perception created that that vote last night was going to increase taxes,” even though his leadership team presented the bill as an opportunity to prevent tax increases for millions.
Some Republicans say they believe Mr. Boehner’s failed bill was part of a grand plan to demonstrate to his members, once again, that if they do not follow his path, a much rockier one will follow. In rejecting a bill that allowed taxes to increase on a small minority of Americans, some House Republicans may well now face a vote on a bill with a lower income threshold, far worse than any deal they have yet had to swallow.
Rep. Steve La Tourette, a moderate Republican who supported Plan B, told NPR Friday, "My sense is there is 40, 48, 50 Republican House members that no matter how they try to accommodate them, they wouldn’t be accommodated."
In the wake of the vote, Boehner faces continued opposition from conservative Republicans in defiance of his leadership position. Breitbart News' Matt Boyle reported early Friday evening that GOP staffers have circulated documents that show a path that could oust the speaker.