Economy & Budget

Boehner blames failure of Plan B on GOP defection

Boehner blames failure of Plan B on GOP defection

Updated 11 a.m.:

House Speaker John Boehner on Friday morning blamed a Republican Party defection over his “Plan B” tax proposal on a misconception that the measure was a tax increase that could be used against the members.

“That impression was out there and a number of members didn’t want to be perceived as raising taxes, that was the real issue,” Boehner said. “A lot of our members didn’t want to deal with it.”

The bill was pulled just minutes before floor debate was to begin last night. It would have extended Bush era tax cuts on families making less than $1 million, but by omission, it would have allowed taxes to increase on those making more than $1 million annually.

Boehner (R-Ohio) also told reporters he did not believe the late-night defection put his speakership at risk.

“If you do the right things for the right reasons, the right things will happen,” Boehner said.

Asked if he had given up on his Republican colleagues, Boehner responded that on the contrary, he was proud of their actions.

“They are doing a great job on behalf of the country.”

If a deal is to be made to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, Boehner said the ball is now in the Senate and White House court.

Boehner suggested they consider a House bill that was passed in August extendeding all of the Bush era tax breaks but the Senate has refused to consider the bill.

“We proposed a (tax) plan over and over again, that Democrats used to support, but now they don’t,” Boehner said.

“I don’t want taxes to go up,” Boehner said. “But we only run the House, Democrats continue to run Washington.”

Added House Majority Leader Eric Canton (R-Va.): “It is clear that our conference has been consistent in its commitment in doing something … we stand ready to continue the dialogue with the president and to actually fix the problem. I hope we see our colleagues on the other side can do likewise and get serious.”

Meanwhile, the House and Senate are leaving Washington today to begin the Christmas holiday while President Barack Obama was scheduled to join his family in Hawaii.

“We are prepared to come back if needed,” Boehner added.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday the upper chamber would not consider the “Plan B” proposal until the House took up their bill that would raise taxes on everyone making more than $250,000 annually.

The problem with that counter-offer, Boehner said, is the $250,000 measure never actually passed the Senate but was blocked by a secretive process called blue slipping.

“There is no Senate bill that has come to the House,” Boehner said. “The Senate bill has a blue slip problem and (the bill) continues to sit in the Senate.”

“We’ve been waiting since Aug. 1 for the Senate to act. If the Senate wants to act on a bill, we will certainly take a look at it,” Boehner said.

Boehner and the White House have been in negotiations for weeks to prevent automatic tax hikes and spending cuts from taking place on Jan. 1. With 10 days left to reach an agreement, both chambers have made plans to return to Washington before the New Year to pass an agreement if reached.

House Speaker John Boehner on Friday morning blamed a Republican Party defection over his “Plan B” tax proposal on a misconception that the measure was a tax increase that could be used against the members.

“That impression was out there and a number of members didn’t want to be perceived as raising taxes, that was the real issue,” Boehner said. “A lot of our members didn’t want to deal with it.”

The bill was pulled just minutes before floor debate was to begin last night. It would have extended Bush era tax cuts on families making less than $1 million, but by omission, it would have allowed taxes to increase on those making more than $1 million.

Boehner (R-Ohio) also told reporters he did not believe the late-night defection put his speakership at risk.

“If you do the right things for the right reasons, the right things will happen,” Boehner said.

If a deal is to be made to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, Boehner said the ball is now in the Senate and White House court.

Meanwhile, the House and Senate are leaving Washington today to begin the Christmas holiday, and President Barack Obama was scheduled to join his family in Hawaii.

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