House Republicans embarrassed their speaker Thursday night by shutting down his Plan B to protect all but millionaires from a tax hike, come Jan. 1. How close was the GOP to having enough support for Speaker John Boehner’s plan? A senior leadership aide replied glumly, “Not close enough.”
The outcome stunned House leadership: In one vote (or nonvote), the all-or-nothing crowd handed the high ground back to the president, who can now rightly claim that House Republicans would rather raise everyone’s taxes than raise them on millionaires.
It is a stunning miscalculation, one that allows the president and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to essentially write whatever bill they can get through the Senate and then watch House Republicans either cave (to a deal that will certainly be worse) or effectively raise taxes for the entire country.
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