House Speaker John Boehner announced Tuesday he will be bringing a fiscal cliff "plan B" to the House floor this week for a vote. Boehner says his new plan will protect as many taxpayers as possible and is a tax-only measure. More from National Journal.
Two congressional sources said the vote would probably be held on Thursday.
The tax-only measure is being called "Plan B" by Republicans and they are looking at it as an alternative to a broader plan that the speaker has been negotiating with the White House.
Talks between the White House and House Republicans have not yet yielded a broad deal, but the two sides have moved closer together in recent days.
One core question is whether Boehner can sell the Republican rank-and-file on any kind of broader deal with
President Obama to avert the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff.
More from AP:
House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday that he is readying a backup bill aimed at averting the "fiscal cliff" because President Barack Obama has yet to offer a balanced package of revenues and spending savings that would cut burgeoning federal deficits.
Boehner's measure would cancel tax increases due to take effect Jan. 1 on everyone earning $1 million or less, while allowing tax increases on those earning more than that amount.
"I continue to have hope that we can reach a broader agreement with the White House" that would cancel a broad wave of tax increases and spending cuts now poised to begin in early January, Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters.
But he said when it comes to offering a package that balances tax increases with spending cuts, "The president is not there yet."
Boehner said GOP efforts to cull savings from Medicare by increasing the eligibility age from 65 to 67 could wait until next year. That source of savings had been an important demand from Republicans earlier in Boehner's negotiations with the White House.
Boehner aides said the call for a separate tax bill, which the speaker presented to his caucus Tuesday morning, does not mean the Republican is cutting off negotiations with Obama on averting the full slate of tax hikes and spending cuts due to take effect next year. Obama and Boehner have each made significant concessions in recent days, signaling a new stage in the negotiations.
The move comes after a back and forth between Boehner and the White House on the tax hike threshold. Boehner offered President Obama a tax hike on those making more that $1 million per year, which Obama countered with a hike on those making $400,000 per year, up from the original proposal of rate increases on $250,000. The White House still hasn't presented plans for spending cuts or entitlement reform.
In a letter to supporters, the conservative Heritage Action For America is denouncing the tax hike concessions Boehner has already made.
On Friday, Speaker John Boehner reportedly made additional "concessions" to President Barack Obama. The plan is nothing short of surrender: a capitulation on taxes for vague reforms that will fail to make a dent in our nation's fiscal woes.
Placing a $1 trillion tax increase on the table, Boehner is repudiating his previously held positions. Gone are the days when the Republicans' top negotiator believed "Washington has a spending problem, not a revenue problem." Raising tax rates used to be considered "unacceptable." Not any more.
Equally as bad, reports suggest Speaker Boehner is willing to include an increase in the debt ceiling in the final fiscal cliff deal. In other words, he is offering to take the only mechanism capable of reining in reckless federal spending off the table for another year.
Congressional Republicans and their consultants believe raising taxes is simply a strategic retreat. Many of them think that if we just go along quietly, conservatives can fight on principle another day. They're wrong. Now is the time for action. Now is the time to fight. Now is the time to stand up to GOP leaders.
President Obama has asked for a two year extension of the debt ceiling limit. Boehner has granted Obama a one year extension and has taken the debt ceiling off of the fiscal cliff negotiating table.
Rumors are already swirling about the security of Boehner's speakership. During his short tenure, debt per American household has increased by $18,944.
UPDATE: White House rejects.
White House rejects Speaker Boehner's 'Plan B' on 'fiscal cliff'; says it does not ask enough of wealthiest Americans on taxes.
The White House quickly rejected House Speaker John Boehner's "fiscal cliff" alternative plan Tuesday, saying it fails to meet the criteria of ending tax breaks for the top 2 percent, and forces the middle class, seniors and other vulnerable groups to shoulder the country's financial burdens.
"He is not willing to accept a deal that doesn't ask enough of the very wealthiest in taxes and instead shifts the burden to the middle class and seniors," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement. "The Speaker's 'Plan B' approach doesn't meet this test because it can't pass the Senate and therefore will not protect middle-class families, and does little to address our fiscal challenges with zero spending cuts."
Carney's statement was issued hours after it was reported Boehner would present a new deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff"—automatic tax increases and spending cuts set to go into effect after Jan. 1. The new proposal would raise taxes on income over $1 million and include $1 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years.
UPDATE III: The White House is so intransigeant, they can't even agree with Nancy Pelosi.
Speaker of the House John Boehner's "Plan B" to avert the fiscal cliff would cut taxes for incomes under $1 million — a higher threshold than the White House demands, but one that had a powerful backer, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
In May, Pelosi sent Boehner a letter calling for the immediate passage of a middle class tax cuts up to that level, while President Barack Obama was on the campaign trail calling for taxes to rise on incomes over $250,000. The White House has since revised that target at $400,000 in ongoing negotiations with Boehner, but has shown few signs it would accept the $1 million level.
"Democrats believe that tax cuts for those earning over a million dollars a year should expire and that we should use the resulting revenues to pay down the deficit," Pelosi said in the letter.
A month earlier on The Charlie Rose Show Pelosi went further, noting Democratic opposition to the $250,000 mark.
“In our caucus, there is a school of thought that says let’s get rid of all the tax cuts," she said. "I say, let’s begin by getting rid of tax cuts for people making more than a million dollars a year. I’m not even saying $250,000. The president’s saying $250,000. A million and above. Who can argue with that?”
It is becoming more an more obvious Obama isn't interested in a deal. He's been saying for a year he wants tax hikes on millionaires and billionaires. Boehner gave it to him and he still rejected.
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