Before ‘Plan B’ tax bill, Boehner said similar proposal would ‘kill jobs’

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

Earlier this year, Speaker of the House John Boehner argued that a proposal offered by Democrats extending tax cuts for everyone except those earning more than $1 million a year was “a big mistake” that “would kill jobs.”

“At a time when we are trying to help small businesses create jobs, this proposal would kill jobs,” Boehner said in May.

“I believe that raising taxes at this point in our recovery is a big mistake,” he said.

But fast forward seven months and Boehner has put forward a “Plan B” tax proposal strikingly similar to the one suggested in May by Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

“Our Plan B would protect American taxpayers who make $1 million or less, and have all of their current rates extended,” Boehner said Tuesday.

With an end of the year deadline looming, Boehner is working to negotiate a deal with President Barack Obama to avert the automatic tax increases in the so-called fiscal cliff crisis.

The House is set to the vote on Boehner’s Plan B on Thursday evening.

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel didn’t immediately return a request for comment on Thursday about how the speaker could push a proposal he once said would “kill jobs.”

But Boehner and his allies have been arguing that while Plan B is not ideal, it makes tax cuts permanent for as many Americans as possible.

“I think we all know that every income-tax filer in America is going to pay higher rates come Jan. 1 unless Congress acts,” Boehner said this week. “So I believe it’s important that we protect as many American taxpayers as we can.”

In a conversation with The Daily Caller, a House Republican leadership aide explained the thinking for why conservatives should support Plan B.

That aide said while Republicans prefer for taxes to go down on everybody, Plan B is rooted in reality, while extending taxes for 99.8 percent of Americans is the best deal Republicans can get under Obama.

The thinking among Republican leadership is that they are facing just two options: Taxes are going up on everybody in January or only on .2 percent of the country. Under that thinking, the latter option is much better than the first, the aide argued.