Dems Balk at Boehner's 'Plan B'

It would see taxes go up for millionaires only

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 18, 2012 1:33 PM CST

(Newser) – John Boehner announced his "Plan B" to avert the fiscal cliff today—it would see taxes go up, but only for those making more than $1 million per year—but Democrats were quick to reject it. Both President Obama and Harry Reid said the approach won't protect middle-class families because it can't pass the Senate, Roll Call reports. Obama "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," said press secretary Jay Carney in a statement, adding that the president is "hopeful" a bipartisan solution will be reached.

Steny Hoyer, the House minority whip, said he'll also push for House Democrats to vote against the legislation—even though it's similar to a Nancy Pelosi proposal from May. (That was just a "political ploy," Hoyer explains, apparently meant to put Republicans in a tough position.) Boehner's plan is a similar ploy, Politico reports: If the country goes off the cliff and taxes are raised on everyone, Republicans can say they tried to raise rates on the wealthiest only. Democrats want rates increased for everyone making more than $250,000, but Obama's latest proposal allowed an increase in that number to $400,000. Both Politico and the Washington Post report that progress has been made in recent days, but Boehner introducing this plan signals that he and Obama are currently at an impasse. House Republicans could make a move on "Plan B" by the end of the week.

John Boehner speaks to reporters about the fiscal cliff negotiations with President Obama following a closed-door strategy session at the Capitol Tuesday.
John Boehner speaks to reporters about the fiscal cliff negotiations with President Obama following a closed-door strategy session at the Capitol Tuesday.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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