[credit provider=”AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File”]
Last night, right around 8 PM ET, John Boehner gave up on trying to get his ‘Plan B’ version of a Fiscal Cliff deal through The House.That bill was always just intended to be a leverage/negotiating move, so the fact that Boehner couldn’t pass a symbolic bill is a huge blow.
Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan at Politico have a good rundown of what went down, and how devastating it is for Boehner’s speakership.
So what happens next? As Boehner said in a brief statement, it’s now up to Obama and Reid to figure out a way to avert the Fiscal Cliff.
As Ben White, who writes POLITICO’s Morning Money points out, this elevates Mitch McConnell.
Here’s the key bit from his note today:
In order to for a cliff deal to get done, McConnell will have to allow Majority Leader Harry Reid to move forward with a measure that can be approved and sent back to the House. It is not at all clear that the House GOP would allow such a bill to come to the floor for a vote. But they will be under intense pressure to do so as the cliff approaches next week. House Republicans now lack the ability to deflect charges that they drove the nation off the cliff and into possible recession in order to protect the wealthiest. Many House Republicans don’t care about this but some certainly do. Most conservative Republicans will oppose any Senate-approved deal. But if a bill makes it to the floor, only 26 Republicans would have to vote in favour if all Democrats vote yes.
This is the optimistic scenario: Essentially the GOP folds. Not wanting to embarass itself further, Obama and Reid craft something along the lines of where the parties were this weekend, the Senate approves it, and then it passes The House with only a handful of Republicans.
The bad scenario, of course, is nothing gets passed anywhere (McConnell digs in) and Boehner loses his speakership or tries to come back with something even more right wing.