The humiliation of John Boehner
Image: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Plan B was supposed to have been John Boehner’s masterstroke — and the only legislative tactic protecting him from an embarrassing defeat in fiscal cliff negotiations with President Obama.

But late Thursday, after a brief but contentious meeting with his conference, he announced he’d gambled and lost.

“The House did not take up the tax measure today because it did not have sufficient support from our members to pass,” Boehner official statement read. “Now it is up to the president to work with Senator Reid on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff. The House has already passed legislation to stop all of the January 1 tax rate increases and replace the sequester with responsible spending cuts that will begin to address our nation’s crippling debt. The Senate must now act.”

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