House Speaker John Boehner pulled the second of his "Plan B" measures due to "lack of support of our members to pass [it]," he said in a statement issued on Thursday.
"Now it is up to the president to work with Senator Reid on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff," the Speaker wrote.
Members were expected to begin debate on H J Res 66, the Permanent Tax Relief for Families and Small Business Act, after passing the Spending Reduction bill. Instead, the Speaker called a meeting to assess support for his measure and then unexpectedly recessed the session. Members later returned to work on unfinished business and hear farewell speeches from retiring representatives.
The House will meet for a pro forma session on Friday at 2pm.
Earlier in the session, the House passed HR 6684, the “Spending Reduction” bill, by a vote of 215 to 209.The first of two measures related to Speaker John Boehner's "Plan B" tax proposal, HR 6684 would put off the sequestration, or automatic spending cuts, for one year, replacing it with other spending cuts.
H J Res 66 would permanently extend the Bush-era tax rates for everyone on the first $1 million of earned income. Those earning more than $1 million would pay a higher tax rate.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) had said that Democrats would not vote for Speaker Boehner's "Plan B" proposal. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said he would not bring up the proposal if it passes in the House.
President Obama had vowed to veto "Plan B."