Fiscal Cliff

Dems, GOP Plot New Strategies After Failure of Plan B

Can we just dump the government and start over?


Top Senate Democrats and the White House began plotting a fiscal cliff endgame after House Speaker John Boehner's fallback plan dramatically shook up efforts to avert sharp tax hikes and spending cuts by year's end.

With the House out of session, the focus turned squarely into whether the Senate could muster enough bipartisan support for a deal that could be jammed through both chambers in the few remaining days before the new year. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell began the afternoon session in a verbal sparring match, with McConnell demanding the Senate pass a bill to extend all the Bush-era tax rates for one year, while Reid called on the House to pass one that would extend all the rates except for those who make more than $250,000.

But Boehner told reporters Friday morning that "God only knows" how Washington will solve the fiscal cliff, though he remained confident that his leadership spot was not endangered despite his own party's pushback Thursday night on his "Plan B" proposals on taxes.