Speaker Boehner’s plan B plan failed tonight as he announced he didn’t have the votes to pass it (which would have allowed marginal tax rates to increase for income above $1,000,000). Quite a failure for the (maybe soon to not be) Speaker of the House. However, I think this actually increases the chance that we do not go over the cliff. For what its worth, here is my prediction:

  • A bill will pass the Senate that gets ~70 votes as the paragon of gridlock steps up
  • There will be one helluva whip operation in the House (D and R), and the bill will pass with lots of D votes but it will be wild and crazy
  • If the stock market starts to melt down, it is more likely to happen next week, instead of in early January. I suspect they do it next week, perhaps with Boehner agreeing to walk as Speaker as part of a deal that ushers in Speaker Ryan for the next Congress to ‘unify’ the Party

No matter what happens, it is clear that the House Republicans are completely dysfunctional; they couldn’t even pull off a show vote. Can’t wait for the health reform ‘replace’ hearings/mark ups to start in the new Congress….

About Don Taylor
Professor of Public Policy (with appointments in Business, Nursing, Community and Family Medicine, and the Duke Clinical Research Institute), and Chair of the Academic Council at Duke University . I am one of the founding faculty of the Margolis Center for Health Policy. My research focuses on improving care for persons who are dying, and I am co-PI of a CMMI award in Community Based Palliative Care. I teach both undergrads and grad students at Duke. On twitter @donaldhtaylorjr

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