The House has delayed voting on a bill dubbed "Plan B" by House Speaker John Boehner.
Boehner decided to postpone a vote on the bill after determining the measure did not have adequate Republican support, Reuters reports.
"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," Boehner said in a statement. "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."
HuffPost's Michael McAuliff and Arthur Delaney report:
The failure to bring the measure to a vote marks a defeat for Boehner, who was unable to marshal enough of his fractious, Tea Party-inspired members. Meanwhile, the nation moves closer to the so-called fiscal cliff, after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) declared earlier Thursday that the Senate will recess Friday until two days after Christmas.
That would leave less than five full days to find a way around the cliff, which Congress itself created by mandating in last year's debt-ceiling agreement that some $1 trillion in budget cuts start kicking in after Jan. 1. That's also when Congress has mandated that all of the Bush-era tax cuts from 2001 and 2003 expire.
The House will not meet again until after Christmas.
The bill proposed to raise taxes on people earning over $1 million a year, sparing most workers from a tax hike but leaving in place painful budget cuts to the military and domestic agencies as "fiscal cliff" talks appear stalled.