What if John Boehner does not have enough Republican votes to pass his Plan B? If that occurs, everyone will know that no matter what he says, he can't deliver the Republican votes needed to pass "compromise legislation." This means that the only way he will be able to pass fiscal cliff legislation is with mostly Democratic votes. And the Democrats in Congress will know that he needs them, and will force more concessions out of him.
It seems to me that there are quite a few Republicans who are not all that anxious to vote for any sort of tax increase, even one that only hits those earning over $1,000,000 a year. And a few calls to their offices asking that they vote against Plan B may be all the incentive that they need to vote "no." And if we can avoid any Democratic "yes" votes, and Boehner loses enough Republican votes, Plan B will fail.
An article in the Washington Post makes it clear that Boehner is working to try to round up the votes. And this makes me think that he may not yet have the votes that he needs.
Even though House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) vowed Wednesday that his plan to raise taxes on upper-income Americans will pass, he was seen doing something later in the day that he rarely does: Glad-handing colleagues on the House floor.http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/2chambers/wp/2012/12/19/boehner-seen-whipping-up-support-on-house-floor/?hpid=z3
. . . . Boehner’s body language said it all: He was eagerly seeking out wavering colleagues that might not join him tomorrow in voting for the plan.
With two vacant seats in the House, Republicans will need at least 217 votes to pass the measure. Currently there are 241 Republicans, meaning that if every member shows up for the vote Thursday, the conference can spare 24 defections and still deliver a majority without Democratic support.
So please call your Republican representatives and ask that they vote against Plan B. And if you are fortunate enough to have a Democratic Representative, give them a call too. You can find the contact information for your representative here
If we can help deny John Boehner the votes needed to pass Plan B, he will either be put in the embarrassing situation of having to pull the bill from having a vote, or having the bill voted down. Either of these scenarios will strengthen the hand of the Democratic Party in the fiscal cliff negotiations.