Update: an unexpected setback for Boehner appears to have appeared with rumors that there may not be enough votes in support of Plan B. As a result the vote on Plan B is for now delayed, and the Republican leaders are said to plan a 7:45pm conference. Suddenly it is becoming a real nailbiter. Stay tuned and grab your popcorn.
The first key vote on the House's docket - the Spending Cut Bill, i.e. the Sequester removal, has just passed as widely expected, by a vote of 215-209 with 21 Republicans voting now. Shortly thereafter, the House will vote on the "Plan B" Boehner tax proposal which too is expected to pass the House, and then be blocked by the Senate. At that point the Fiscal Cliff debate for 2012 is likely to be shelved and reopened in 2013 only after the consequences of the Fiscal Cliff have taken place. A final resolution may well stretch out into March, as we predicted previously, when the drop dead decision date is due - that coinciding with the debt ceiling increase, which by mid-March will no longer be extendable. Watch the vote live below.