The brief outline he gave in the press conference of an smaller package lines up with Politico's reporting. Saying that there is "absolutely no reason, none, not to protect these [middle-class] Americans from a tax hike," Obama made the case for a smaller bill that would extend those tax cuts (without naming a specific threshold), extend unemployment insurance, and temporarily put off the automatic cuts from the sequester. "Averting a middle class tax hike is not a Democratic or Republican responsibility," he said, but a "shared responsibility.... everybody's got to give a little bit in a sensible way."
Is there reason to believe that there might be sensible Republicans? Well, if there is the degree of disarray in the caucus that this article suggest, yes.
Even his allies admit that Boehner’s stunning failure to find the votes for his “plan B” tax legislation was a major blow to his credibility, provoking befuddlement and even outrage from fellow Republicans.If there really isn't any sense that Boehner's speakership is in danger over this, the embarrassment of last night's fiasco might, just might, be enough to give Boehner the support he would need to get behind such a plan. With Democrats supporting it, some two dozen Republicans would be needed.
But there is also considerable anger in the GOP conference directed at the conservative lawmakers that forced Boehner’s shocking defeat.
That fractured reaction — coupled with the lack of a plausible challenger — mean Boehner is unlikely to face any significant challenge to his position as speaker in the near term.
“These are people that, they don’t have a leader amongst them, and they don’t want to be led,” said a GOP member and Boehner loyalist. “He had probably 200 people lined up for him, for his position. And those 200 are pretty dad gum loyal to the speaker and pretty angry at that group.”
It all depends on whether Boehner is ready or willing to wrest back control of his House from the lunatics he's allowed to seize it. The alternative might just be going over the cliff.
Here's the full transcript of President Obama's remarks.