WASHINGTON (TIP): Republicans in the House of Representatives, confronted with a revolt among the party’s rank and file, abandoned a vote on politically-charged but symbolic legislation aimed at averting a fast-approaching “fiscal cliff,” after failing to gather enough support for a measure meant to strengthen the party’s position ahead of final negotiations with US President Barack Obama. December 20th drama, a major defeat for the House Speaker John Boehner, left precious little time for a divided government to prevent across-the-board tax increases and deep spending cuts from taking effect with the new year.
Economists say the combination threatened a return to recession for an economy that has been recovering slowly from the last one. Boehner’s so-called Plan B legislation was drafted unilaterally by Republicans who control the House and faced sure defeat in the Democrat-held Senate. It was crafted to protect almost all Americans from the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts on Jan. 1, 2013, but would have let rates increase for people earning more than $1 million annually – much higher than Obama’s proposed $400,000 threshold.