While it seems unlikely he won't be able browbeat his caucus in the end, he's running into some opposition from the fringes in his extremist caucus, losing eleven members so far. He can only afford to lose 24 Republicans. He's unlikely to get more than a few Blue Dog Democrats. The fact that the vote is coming so late in the day suggests that he has a lot of arm-twisting to do during the course of Thursday.
He's really having to work for it, according to the subscription-only Roll Call.
House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and his team were hard at work trying to sell Boehner’s plan, but by press time, no one but Boehner had expressed total optimism that the legislation would be successful. [...]Having Grover Norquist sign off on the bill hasn't been enough on the tax side for all these members. So at the eleventh hour Wednesday, he added in another sweetener, bill to add more spending cuts and remove defense cuts from the automatic spending cuts scheduled to take effect at the end of the year.
Nevertheless, a member of the whip team said they tried to sell the plan by telling lawmakers that Obama and congressional Democrats made a political calculation to go off the fiscal cliff, allowing tax rates to go up and deep spending cuts known as sequestration to kick in starting Jan. 2, because the American public would blame Republicans. [...]
Right-wing activists added pressure by beginning to mobilize on Wednesday, encouraging members to vote against the plan B and vowing to fund primary challengers in the districts of members who back it.
All this to try to foist the blame for the failure of negotiations onto the president, which probably won't work anyway. The American public has already made up its mind about the Republican Party, and thinks that it's the side that should be making making more compromises. When the deal falls apart, 48 percent of the people will blame Republicans no matter what, says this CNN/ORC International poll.
That's not just important for Boehner to understand; it's critical for President Obama. He's already conceded far too much, particularly considering the entirely predictable Republican reaction to his overtures. He needs to be done with making offers.
"Senior administration officials have been told by Republicans that the reason the Speaker turned to Plan B is that he concluded that he couldn't get sufficient Republican support for the offer that he presented to the President over the weekend," the White House official told BuzzFeed.Cantor says they do have the votes. We'll find out by the end of the day. It's moot, anyway. The Senate is highly unlikely to take up the bill.
10:22 AM PT: Oops. The above quote from the White House is about Boehner's previous proposal, not his "Plan B," which seems to be having some trouble of it's own.