House Conservatives Hold Their Criticism, For Now
As House Speaker John Boehner has bent further on taxes than any Republican leader in years, his once-raucous conference of GOP revolutionaries has fallen into line.
There was no screaming or shouting at the GOP leadership in a closed-door meeting of House Republicans in the Capitol basement on Tuesday morning. Instead, as Boehner laid out a “Plan B” that included acquiescing to higher tax rates for those earning more than $1 million annually, there was widespread resignation.
“I think that all of us recognize that the top rate is going to go up,” said Republican Rep. Jeff Flake, the senator-elect from Arizona who has been a thorn in the GOP leadership’s side.
For weeks, one of the central questions in the fiscal-cliff talks has been whether Boehner’s often rebellious troops would retreat, en masse, from any cliff resolution that includes a tax-rate hike. The answer, at least on Tuesday, was no.
The tide has shifted substantively enough that Boehner has planned a House vote, as early as this Thursday, on his “Plan B” package. It would prove to be his biggest test of support yet within his conference, as Democrats have said they plan to withhold support and on Tuesday night some conservative members were speculating that Boehner wouldn’t have the votes.
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A version of this article appeared in today's National Journal Daily.
Billy House, Catherine Hollander, Ben Terris, and Rebecca Kaplan contributed.