Business, Economics and Jobs

Fiscal cliff: Obama rejects Boehner's 'Plan B' (UPDATE)


Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, R-OH, speaks to the press December 18, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. After making major concessions on long-held 'fiscal cliff' positions, US President Barack Obama and Boehner will test the reaction Tuesday of their respective parties in the Congress and continue talks aimed at further narrowing their differences.


Karen Bleier

Looking for a light at the end of the tunnel toward the fiscal cliff? Well, keep on looking. 

Obama rejected House Speaker John Boehner's "Plan B," which aimed to strongly discourage taxing incomes below $1 million. The plan came in response to Obama's compromise to extend the Bush-era tax cuts to incomes up to $400,000, instead of the previously-proposed $250,000. 

White House spokesman Jay Carney says Boehner's approach wouldn't pass in the Senate, and that it "does little to address the nation's fiscal challenges," the Associated Press reported

"The question for us is real simple: How do we stop as many of those rate hikes as possible?” Boehner said Tuesday morning to House Republicans, Politico reported. “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.

"Taxes are going up on everyone on Jan. 1. They’re baked into current law. And we have to stop whatever tax rate increases we can. In the absence of an alternative, as of this morning, a ‘modified Plan B’ is the plan," he continued. 

More from GlobalPost: The fiscal cliff, explained

“Speaker Boehner’s ‘plan B’ is the farthest thing from a balanced approach,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in a statement. “It will not protect middle class families because it cannot pass both Houses of Congress. The Senate bill is the only ‘plan B’ that can be signed into law and prevent taxes from rising by $2,200 on the average middle-class family.”

Some analysts are predicting a compromise at $500,000, Reuters reported. "That still looks like a safe bet," said Greg Valliere, chief political strategist at Potomac Research Group.

Others, however, are much less optimistic. According to a Washington Post/ABC News poll, just 14 percent of Americans think it is “very likely” that Obama and congressional Republicans will agree on a plan to reduce the nation's deficit. 

Some Republicans also see Boehner's stance, however forceful as a capitulation to the Democrats, the Washington Post reported

“The Republican Party can’t be a party that stands for increasing taxes,” said Michael Needham, chief executive of the Heritage Action for America. “The country needs a contrast.... He’s certainly not providing that kind of contrast.”

Either way, one thing is for sure: this bumpy ride is far from over. 

More from GlobalPost: Congress returns to tackle fiscal cliff