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Boehner fails to get GOP to back Plan B; House recesses

Status of fiscal cliff negotiations grow murkier.

House Speaker John Boehner pulled his Plan B legislation from the floor Thursday night as his whip efforts imploded at the last minute, and the House wrapped up its business until after Christmas.

Boehner could not muster the votes for his measure, seen as a fiscal-cliff negotiating chip, which faced an onslaught of conservative opposition from both inside and outside the conference, as opponents argued the legislation amounts to a tax hike.

In a statement, the speaker said the bill did not enough backing in his conference to pass.

"The House did not take up the tax measure today because it did not have sufficient support from our members to pass. 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," he said in a statement.