Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid labeled House Speaker John Boehner’s fiscal cliff “Plan B” dead on arrival in the Democrat-controlled Senate, saying it is not “balanced” and “doesn’t do anything.”
Boehner’s plan would allow tax rates to rise for families making more than $1 million per year starting in 2013. President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders originally supported raising taxes on households earning more than $250,000 per year, although the White House has offered to accept a $400,000 threshold.
“Speaker Boehner’s proposal is not balanced, will not protect the middle class, because it can’t pass the Senate. And it doesn’t do anything. His so-called Plan B is allowing people who make up to a million dollars to not pay more. We believe people making less than 250[thousand dollars] shouldn’t have to bear the burden of all these huge problems we have fiscally,” Reid said Tuesday on Capitol Hill.
“We should be focusing our energy on forging a large-scale, balanced approach to deficit reduction. But if Republicans choose to walk away again, again, the Senate bill is the only plan that will protect middle-class families from the tax hike on January 1st.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he prefers not raising taxes on “any taxpayers,” but signaled his support for Boehner’s plan.
“I certainly support not raising taxes on 98 percent of taxpayers,” McConnell said on Tuesday. “I also don’t support raising taxes on any taxpayers. The Senate conference has been largely unified on that for some time.”
“I can’t imagine that I would not be supportive of a proposal that had permanent tax reductions for a substantial portion of the American taxpaying public,” he added. “My own view would be to not raise taxes on anyone. But we will deal with the package that comes over from the House. The majority obviously will have a chance to change it and we’ll see what they want to do when it comes over.”
McConnell said it’s “great” the Republican-controlled House is sending the Senate “a proposal that apparently makes permanent” the tax rates that were “established during the Bush years for 98 percent of Americans.”