Republicans have reportedly drafted a “Doomsday Plan” in anticipation of a stalemate on fiscal cliff negotiations.
ABC News reports that a large group of Republicans could vote “present” on a bill extending the Bush-era middle class tax cuts. This would assure the bill passes solely on Democratic votes, signifying Republicans’ refusal to only extend tax cuts for one subset of citizens.
The bill would be void of any unemployment or tax reform and also would not raise the debt ceiling, measures that President Barack Obama favors. Such a scenario would force Obama and congressional Democrats to address massive spending cuts as soon as they return from the holiday recess.
It would also guarantee another debt ceiling showdown.
The unusual scenario could also postpone the automatic defense spending cuts dictated by the budget sequestration that threatens to arrive Jan. 2 unless lawmakers can reach an agreement.
It is not clear if Speaker John Boehner would pursue such a deal, although he recently announced both sides were “nowhere” near reaching a compromise.
Two senior Republican elected officials told ABC News this contingency plan is “becoming the most likely scenario.”
The Doomsday plan could allow Republicans to escape the blame for tax increases that would hit nearly all Americans after New Year’s Day.
Would the GOP force the issue by caving on taxes by voting “present”?
“You don’t take a hostage you aren’t willing to shoot,” said one Republican official.