Rumblings today indicate the Senate may vote on a plan which makes the Bush tax rates permanent for those earning less than $500,000 (keeps the sequester, does little else to spending).
If Speaker Boehner brings that plan to the floor of the House. it may pass–but it would likely cost Boehner his speakership.
- Speaker Boehner lost 35-50 GOP votes on “Plan B” (extends cuts for incomes less than $1 million). He will lose upwards of 60 GOP votes if he brings up this potential Senate compromise.
- To pass the Senate bill, he’ll need Democrats’ support–lots of it. By pushing through a compromise which excludes conservative support, Speaker Boehner would alienate his caucus even more than he did with Plan B. Ever since the Plan B fiasco, Boehner has run away from any deal discussions for this exact reason.
- Conservatives in the House can hold up Boehner’s election with just 17 votes on the House floor. More than that number already are considering abandoning Boehner, and a Boehner-Reid-Obama compromise would further hurt his chances.
- Speaker Boehner can ‘run out the clock’ by waiting to vote on a deal until after his January 3 election. This is his safest route.