Here’s The First Portion Of The Fiscal Cliff “Plan B” That Just Barely Passed The House

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Here’s The First Portion Of The Fiscal Cliff “Plan B”
That Just Barely Passed The House

By Michael Matthew Bloomer, Dec. 20, 2012.
Out of sync

Out of sync

An hour ago the House passed H.R. 6684, the Spending Reduction Act of 20121, by a photo finish vote of 215-209. The bill which now goes to the Senate replaces the defense-related cuts required by the mandatory sequester that would result from a failure to reach an agreement on taxes by January 1, 2013. Introduced yesterday by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), the bill passed earlier today adds cuts to replace those sequestration defense cuts with, among other items,

    • cuts to food stamp programs,
    • Medicaid,
    • employment training programs,
    • and termination of the Home Affordable Modification Program.

Also, the bill hampers the Affordable Care Act’s health benefits exchange efforts by repealing mandatory funding to states intended to assist them with creating exchanges. Another section repeals the Prevention and Public Health Fund. They never give up their efforts to repeal the ACA through the back door.

The long and the short of this indicates a weakening of the Republican block in the House. Twenty- one Republicans voted against the bill, some because they didn’t think it went far enough, others because they thought it too drastic.

Speaker Boehner’s control of his difficult and uncompromising caucus is poor, and will be tested to the utmost with the next vote on his “Plan B” tax reform and revenue raising proposals.2 With the vote on H.R. 6684 so close, will Boehner whip up enough GOP votes to push his more controversial Plan B through? Will he go down in flames? If it passes the House it’ll be by a few votes, or less. Watch for the vote later tonight!

UPDATE, 8:20 pm: Speaker of the House John Boehner could not whip up a GOP frenzy in support of his Plan B proposal and took the extremely humiliating step (for a Speaker) of pulling the bill off the floor without a vote. He then adjourned the House until after Christmas. Tea Partier Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who covets the Speakership,  must be skipping and trilling!3

  1. Text of H.R. 6684, GPO, Introd. Rep. Eric Cantor, Dec. 19, 2012.
  2. In One Picture : Boehner’s Risky “Plan B” Fiscal Cliff Gambit Could Cost Him The Speakership, Michael Matthew Bloomer, They Will Say ANYTHING!, Dec. 20, 23012.
  3. ‘Plan B’ Vote Postponed In House, Michael McAuliff and Arthur Delaney, Huffington Post, Dec. 20, 2012.

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Michael Matheron

From Presidents Ronald Reagan through George W. Bush, I was a senior legislative research and policy staff of the nonpartisan Library of Congress Congressional Research Service (CRS). I’m partisan here, an “aggressive progressive.” I’m a contributor to The Fold and Nation of Change. Welcome to They Will Say ANYTHING! Come back often! . . . . . Michael Matheron, contact me at

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