Despite the White House rejecting his offer to raise tax rates on millionaires, a proposal formerly supported by many Democrats, House Speaker John Boehner is expected to move a version of his proposal through the House of Representatives:
Speaker John Boehner told his conference on Tuesday he will move to a “Plan B” in fiscal cliff talks with the White House that would raise tax rates on annual income above $1 million.
Boehner announced the plan to his conference behind closed doors after a flurry of negotiations with President Obama that showed the two sides were moving closer to a deal. Yet differences remain over spending cuts, entitlement reforms, new spending measures demanded by Obama and the president’s request for a hike to the debt limit.
Boehner is scheduled to address the media this morning.
“For weeks, Senate Republicans — and a growing number of you — have been pushing for us to pivot to a “Plan B.” I think there’s a better way. But the White House just can’t seem to bring itself to agree to a “balanced” approach, and time is running short,” Boehner said, according to prepared remarks.
“At the same time we’re moving on “Plan B,” we’re leaving the door wide open for something better. And I have been clear about that with the president. Plan B is Plan B for a reason. It’s a less-than-ideal outcome. I’ve always believed we can do better,” he said.
Boehner is demanding a 1-to-1 ratio between tax hikes and spending cuts, and Republicans argue the latest proposal from Obama doesn’t meet that demand, partly because of Obama’s demand for new infrastructure spending and an extension of unemployment benefits.
While the political position in which Boehner finds himself is tough, raising taxes — even on higher-income earners — is going to be a tough sell to most members of the House Republican caucus; and understandably so because of the potential for a negative impact. However, Boehner has to brace himself for the backlash that will no doubt come from conservatives.