Even if House Republicans threw their full support behind Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) “Plan B” to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff,” that bill would have been dead-on-arrival once it reached the Senate, according to one GOP lawmaker.
Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), a member of the House Budget Committee, said Boehner's proposal failed to garner enough GOP support last week, because members knew it would be rejected by Democrats.
Mulvaney noted that even if House members pushed Boehner's plan through, Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had already ruled out acting on the bill in the Democratically-controlled Senate.
Mulvaney added that recent reports chronicling the highly contentious one-on-one talks between Boehner and President Obama to avoid the massive, automatic budget cuts and tax-rate rises set to take effect in January, raised concerns that Democrats wanted to go over the cliff.
"You cannot negotiate with someone who does not want to negotiate," he said,
Boehner's proposal was pulled off the House floor late last Thursday after GOP leaders found they could not secure the 218 votes for passage.
The move leaves efforts to find a fiscal cliff solution deadlocked, with both sides accusing the other of failing to offer serious proposals. The president and lawmakers now have nine days to reach an agreement before the deadline hits. Boehner on Friday suggested that any deal would have to come from the president and the Senate.
Obama, buoyed by his strong reelection win, has pressed for any deal to raise tax rates on the wealthy, a call rejected my most of the GOP rank-and-file.
In an exchange with Boehner reported by the Wall Street Journal last Friday, the House Speaker argued Republicans had conceded roughly $800 billion to the White House in tax increases.
"What do I get for that?" the Ohio Republican asked Obama, according to the Journal. In response, Obama reportedly replied: "You get nothing. I get that for free."