House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Wednesday vowed that his backup tax bill, dubbed “Plan B,” would pass the House and challenged President Obama to either accept it or be responsible for the “largest tax increase in American history."
“The president’s offer of $1.3 trillion in revenues and $850 billion in spending reductions fails to meet the test that the president promised the American people – a balanced approach,” Boehner said during an extraordinarily brief press conference. “I hope the president will get serious soon about providing and working with us on a balanced approach.”
“Tomorrow, the House will pass legislation to make permanent tax relief for nearly every American -- 99.81 percent of the American people,” he added.
“Then, the president will have a decision to make. He can call on the Senate Democrats to pass that bill, or he can be responsible for the largest tax increase in American history.”
Shortly after Rep. Boehner introduced his “just in case” plan yesterday morning, the White House batted it down, saying it “fails to meet President Barack Obama’s call for a balanced approach and does not put enough of a tax burden on the wealthiest Americans.”
“The president is hopeful that both sides can work out remaining differences and reach a solution so we don’t miss the opportunity in front of us today,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) assured members of the press that “Plan B” would never pass the senate.
“Speaker Boehner’s ‘plan B’ is the farthest thing from a balanced approach,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office said in a statement. “It will not protect middle class families because it cannot pass both Houses of Congress.”
“Now is the time to show leadership, not kick the can down the road,” Reid said. “Speaker Boehner should focus his energy on forging a large-scale deficit reduction agreement. It would be a shame if Republicans abandoned productive negotiations due to pressure from the tea party, as they have time and again.”
Boehner has called for a separate bill to address only taxes. He wants lawmakers to extend tax cuts for people making up to $1 million. He has also called for entitlement cuts and a tax reform debate next year.
In addition to allowing a tax increase for million-dollar earners, the Boehner plan would prevent an expansion of the alternative minimum tax that would otherwise hit 28 million middle- and upper-class Americans with an average $3,700 increase on their 2012 tax returns.
The “fiscal cliff” cliff ball is once against in President Obama’s court.
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The AP contributed to this report. Featured image courtesy the AP.