Boehner: Obama can help pass Plan B in Senate, or ‘be responsible for the largest tax increase in American history’

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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WASHINGTON — Speaker of the House John Boehner confidently declared that his ‘Plan B’ would pass the House Thursday, indicating that he has the votes to pass it, and said that President Barack Obama could either fall in line and help the bill pass the Senate, or he could take the blame for “the largest tax increase in American history.”

“Republicans continue to work toward avoiding the fiscal cliff. The president’s offer of $1.3 trillion of revenue and $850 billion in spending reduction fails to meet the test that the president promised the American people: a balanced approach. And I hope the president will get serious soon about providing and working with us on a balanced approach,” Boehner said in a brief statement to reporters Wednesday.

“Tomorrow the House will pass legislation to make permanent tax relief for nearly every American: 99.81 percent of the American people,” Boehner said. It remains unclear if Boehner will actually have the votes to pass it — several conservative groups have come out in opposition urging members to vote against the proposal, and ‘Plan B’ got mixed reviews from his caucus.

“Then the president will have a decision to make,” Boehner said. “He can call upon Senate Democrats to pass that bill, or, he can be responsible for the largest tax increase in American history.”

Senate Democrats have said they will not pass the bill: Sen. Charles Schumer said Wednesday that it would be “dead on arrival” in the Senate, should the House succeed in passing it. The White House rejected the plan on that basis.

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Alexis Levinson