TODAY | December 21, 2012
>> for the holidays without a fiscal cliff deal. house speaker john boehner received a very public rebuke from members of his own party. kelly o'donnell joins us this morning. good morning to you.
>> reporter: good morning, savannah. they were unable to wrap up a deal. this was a surprise for speaker john boehner , who stumbled. he couldn't even hold the vote. he did not have enough support from his own party. that means more uncertainty for everyone today about what happens with taxes that are due to go up january 1st . will markets react? this was a serious rejection by the republican party . when house republicans came out of their hastily called meeting late thursday --
>> the speaker will speak for all of us.
>> both surprise and failure was written on their faces.
>> did you have a vote today?
>> do you have a no vote today?
>> reporter: speakers before john baoehner were visibly upset.
>> this is unbelievable. this is horrible. i'm angry. i'm said for my friend the speaker. i'm said for the country.
>> reporter: hours earlier, republican leaders tried to project confidence.
>> we are going to have a vote.
>> reporter: boehner called it his plan b .
>> i'm going to do whatever i can to protect many americans from an increase in taxes as i can.
>> reporter: pushing his own solution, plan b to avoid the fiscal cliff, making a big concession that taxes would go up for the wealthiest but only those earning $1 million a year. democrats want a lower threshold and senate leaders refused to consider plan b .
>> let me be absolutely clear. speaker boehner 's plans are nonstarters in the senate.
>> reporter: that reality meant house republicans were being asked to take a politically painful vote for higher taxes with no democrats going along. and no evidence that democrats would agree to deeper spending cuts that republicans say are necessary to reduce the deficit.
>> the problem has been with the president, with the white house . it's been with harry reid in the senate. it hasn't been over here.
>> reporter: still, republicans expect that for now boehner will take much of the heat.
>> he has worked his heart out to try to get the best deal he can. and to have this happen is just very sad for the country.
>> reporter: the white house re reacted with a statement saying the president is willing to work with congress to get this done. and the deal ultimately would need more democrats to have it pass. now, republicans point out that earlier this year, the house was able to get through a measure that would keep everyone's tax rates where they are right now through next year. the senate didn't act on that. that's something they could do now. as you know, democrats want to see at least some taxes go up. this was a tough day for the speaker. unclear now when the president and john boehner might resume their own talks. savannah?
>> kelly o'donnell on the hill for us. thank you.