Friday, December 21, 2012

Pushback From Far-Right Prompts Boehner to Pull 'Plan B'

Posted By on Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio leaving a meeting Thursday with fellow House Republicans on talks over the “fiscal cliff.”
  • New York Times
  • Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio leaves a meeting Thursday with fellow House Republicans after talks about the “fiscal cliff.”

The picture on the front page of this morning's New York Times says it all. U.S. House Speaker John Boehner sheepishly pulled back his so-called "Plan B" last night because of pushback he received from the far-right wing of his own Republican Party.

“Now it is up to the president to work with Sen. Reid on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff," said Boehner.

Plan B would have raised taxes on people earning more than $1 million a year and Democratic leaders didn't see it as a serious proposal. However, Dems urged Boehner to continue with negotiations, despite the stalemate.

Only 11 days remain before automatic spending cuts and tax-rate increases—otherwise known as the "fiscal cliff"—kick in, threatening gradual economic recovery. While the Democrats have been pushing for increasing taxes on wealthy Americans, the Republicans have been calling for deeper spending cuts.

"It's time for Republicans to get serious," said Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The Washington Post reports that President Barack Obama had offered to trim Social Security benefits and extend tax cuts for families earning as much as $400,000, up from the earlier limit of $250,000.

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