Boehner moves to ‘Plan B’ on the fiscal cliff

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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WASHINGTON — With just 14 days until the country goes off the fiscal cliff and President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner still not at an agreement, House Republicans are moving on to Plan B to avoid some of the tax hikes slated to take effect on Jan. 1.

The plan, which Boehner said they “expect” to bring to the floor “later this week,” would extend the Bush tax cuts for Americans making less than $1 million.

As for the other issues included in the fiscal cliff, Boehner told reporters during a Tuesday press conference, some would be dealt with in the Plan B, while others would not.

“Dealing with the issue of the alternative minimum tax, dealing with the death tax, could likely be part of the bill we bring to the floor,” he said. But added that the bill “would not deal with sequester.”

Boehner said he still hopes to negotiate a deal with Obama, but “the president is not there yet.” (RELATED: Obama, Boehner close gap on fiscal cliff deal, eye trillion-dollar tax hike)

“I continue to have hope that we can reach a broader agreement with the White House that would reduce the spending as well as have revenues on the table. I think it’d be better for our country,” he said. “But at this point, having a back up plan to make sure that as few American taxpayers are affected by this tax increase as possible, moving down that path is the right course of action for us.

In the aftermath of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Boehner said, when asked, “It’s not a time to put Americans through more stress.”

A deal with the president would have to be “balanced,” Boehner said repeatedly, matching revenue increases with spending cuts.

“I have made it clear to the president that I would put a trillion dollars of revenue on the table if he would put a trillion dollars of spending cuts on the table,” Boehner said.

Republicans’ Plan B bears resemblance to a bill passed by the Senate and touted by House Democrats, which would have extended the tax cuts on Americans making less than $250,000 a year, taking the issue that would directly affect many Americans off the table as the President and Congress negotiate a bigger deal. Over the past weeks, a number of Senate Republicans have come out in favor of such an approach.

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