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Or, rather, over the light downhill slope.

Minutes ago, Boehner called off the vote on 'Plan B'.  What this means is that a Republican fantasy proposal, far to the right of anything that the most conservative Democrat might accept, couldn't get a majority of the House, because too many Republicans are still unwilling to vote for any tax increase at all, ever ever ever.  Even preserving the tax cuts on the first $1 million is not enough for them.

What this means is that a deal before Jan. 1 is now impossible.  If Boehner couldn't get a majority for that, he can't get a majority for anything.

So what happens now?

The worst thing that could happen now would be for Democrats to keep trying to keep negotiations alive to make a deal.  As we see from this vote, it's simply not possible.  There will not be a Republican House majority for anything less than total surrender by the Democrats, meaning preserving every dime of the Bush tax cuts.  Instead, the president needs to start preparing the public and the markets, and communicate several points:

First, there will be no deal by January 1.

Second, that's OK.  The House and Senate have time to act before most Americans receive their first paycheck, and can easily reinstate the Bush tax cuts on the first $250K of every American's income, retroactive to January 1.  Previous offers to increase the amount were made in the hope of attracting Republican concessions, and since none were offered, those offers are withdrawn.

Third, about the sequester: attempts to give the Pentagon all its money back and to take it out on the most vulnerable will not fly.  Yes, defense cuts will cost some jobs, but severe cuts elsewhere will cost even more jobs, and we are spending far more than our enemies are.

Fourth, about the debt limit: the debt limit is not something that Republicans can trade for any concession.  Republicans have already approved spending that will put us over the debt limit soon, they voted for it last year.  The House and Senate must pass a debt limit increase by the deadline, period.  This is not the president wanting to borrow money; Congress has already approved deficit spending.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Um, how does any of this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Navy Vet Terp, VClib

    get through the House?

    The House and Senate have time to act before most Americans receive their first paycheck, and can easily reinstate the Bush tax cuts on the first $250K of every American's income, retroactive to January 1.  
    The House and Senate must pass a debt limit increase by the deadline, period.
    Remember, nothing comes to the floor for a vote unless the Speaker lets it come to the floor for a vote.   And either Boehner -- or someone even more conservative, like Cantor -- will be Speaker after Jan. 1.

    I think we could be looking at no legislation, period.  Not even after January 1.  

    •  If that happens ... (4+ / 0-)

      ... then everything is on automatic.  Everyone's tax goes up.  The Pentagon gets cut.  People in the reddest states will scream, and they will soon find out that it is the Republicans that are blocking a tax cut that the Democrats will happily give them.  They will cave within a week, and they can do it without violating any pledge: they will be voting for a tax cut.  The increase on the rich will have taken place without their vote.

    •  The republicans have to work with democrats and (2+ / 0-)

      Boehner can take a bill that is friendly to democrats and get 195 dems votes and 23 republican votes and Boehner can have a win.  But this bill has to have NO cuts to medicare or social security.  Other wise republican inaction will cause the biggest tax increase ever.  

      •  If the bill has no entitlement cuts (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        it doesn't get any Republican votes.  And it doesn't pass the House.  Even if Boehner is willing to bring it up for a vote.

        And Boehner won't bring it up for a vote if he's only going to get 23 Republican votes.  

        •  Boehner can wait (0+ / 0-)

          Til the new congress.  He'll have 201 votes at minimum (201 Dems plus himself).  At that point all he will need is 16 more.

          If he doesn't bring a bill up for a vote then nothing gets done and the millionaires will all be coming down on him to do something.

          This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

          by DisNoir36 on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:46:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  majority of the majority (0+ / 0-)

        Since the GOP has (since '94) operated on the majority of the majority rule, Boehner won't bring a bill to the floor that does have support of the majority of his caucus.

        If there is a deal to be made that gets 150 GOP votes and 75 Democratic votes, Boehner can make it (really hard to figure out what that would look like).

        But he can't make the deal you suggest, else I believe they will replace him as Speaker.

      •  But then Boehner gets voted out as speaker (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Killer of Sacred Cows

        If there are 233 Republicans in the new House, and he gets 23 to vote with the Democrats, that means he will be voted out by a vote of 210 to 23.  I suppose that could get him a chapter in Profiles in Courage, if JFK were alive and writing his book today, but the words Boehner and courage don't go together.

        "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

        by Navy Vet Terp on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:25:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  only by splitting his own party (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Killer of Sacred Cows

        An alternative is that 23 Republicans could split off and work with Pelosi.  A majority can force any measure to the House floor.

  •  You be Butch. I'll be Sundance. (0+ / 0-)

    It'll be all right.

    "Injustice wears ever the same harsh face wherever it shows itself." - Ralph Ellison

    by KateCrashes on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:41:44 PM PST

  •  First, Yertle McConnell filibusters himself (0+ / 0-)

    Now Oompah Loompah man implodes. How do the Democrats keep losing to these muttonheads?

    All right, everyone had a good time and one laughtastic chortle at the Republicans' expense? Terrific. NOW can we get the adults to sit down and make a real proposal? Government MUST provide services and they MUST be paid for. Let's start from there.

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