WASHINGTON - Confronted with a revolt among the rank and file, House Republicans abruptly put off a vote Thursday night on legislation allowing tax rates to rise for households earning $1 million and up, complicating attempts to avoid a year-end fiscal cliff that threatens to send the economy into recession.
In a brief statement, House Speaker John Boehner said the bill "did not have sufficient support from our members to pass." At the same time he challenged President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to work on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff.
"The Senate must now act," he said.
Emerging from a hurriedly-called evening meeting of House Republicans, Ohio Rep. Steve LaTourette said Boehner had told lawmakers, "He's going to call the president and he's going to go down and talk to him and maybe they can hammer something out."
There was no immediate response from either the White House or Reid's office.