A senior White House aide said Wednesday morning that President Obama would veto House Speaker John Boehner's so-called "Plan B" proposal.(Photo: Carolyn Kaster, AP)
WASHINGTON -- President Obama would veto a proposed GOP bill that
would raise tax rates for Americans making more than $1 million if it
reaches his desk, a senior White House aide said this morning.
announcement comes one day after House Speaker John Boehner floated his
so-called "Plan B" legislation to avert tax hikes for most Americans
set to go into effect at the beginning of next year.
people have been clear that they will not accept an economic approach
that places too big of a burden on the middle class, seniors, students
and the most vulnerable Americans while asking too little of the
wealthiest Americans," White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer
said in a statement. "The deficit reduction is minimal, and perversely,
given its authors, solely through tax increases with no spending cuts.
This approach does not meet the test of balance, and the president
would veto the legislation in the unlikely event of its passage."
Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Boehner, called the veto threat "bizarre and irrational."
have always said a broader, 'balanced' plan is the ideal solution, and
we have put one forward," Buck said. "In the absence of a 'balanced'
solution from the president, however, we must act to stop taxes from
rising across the board in 12 days."
The latest back-and-forth
comes as negotiations on tax rates and the looming "fiscal cliff" appear
to have slowed, if not ground to a halt.
officials said discussion about a major agreement have virtually stopped
since Boehner proposed his Plan B, despite the fact it has virtually no
chance of passing the Senate. They noted that Obama submitted a plan to
the speaker on Monday, and they are awaiting a response.
said the is scheduled to leave for his end-of-the-year vacation in
Hawaii on Friday, but he will stay in Washington if fiscal cliff issues
are left hanging.
Pfeiffer said the Boehner plan would give
millionaires a tax break of $50,000. The Boehner plan also would result
in unemployment assistance being cut off for some 2 million Americans
who have been taking advantage of extended benefits.
threat is not unexpected. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on
Tuesday that the Democratic-controlled Senate would not consider
Boehner's plan and White House spokesman Jay Carney said it did little
to address long-term fiscal challenges.
Obama's latest proposal
included extending George W. Bush era rates - set to expire on Jan. 1 -
for couples making $400,000 or less, a change from his campaign pledge
to allow those rates to expire on those making more than $250,000. The
Obama offer also included $1.2 trillion in spending cuts over the next
decade. Boehner rejected that offer, saying a significant portion of
the cuts came through budgetary gimmicks.
"Obama has put forward a
proposal that meets the speaker halfway on both taxes and spending,
offering to work with Republicans to cut spending by ... more than $1
trillion beyond what he has already signed into law," Pfeiffer said.
"The president urges the Republican leadership to work with us to
resolve remaining differences and find a reasonable solution to this
situation today instead of engaging in political exercises that increase
the possibility that taxes go up on every American."
analysis prepared by the White House also concludes that the Boehner
plan would actually benefit many millionaires because of favorable
provisions on estate taxes, personal exemptions and itemized deductions.
The administration said the plan would provide an average of $50,000 in
tax benefits for people who make more than $1 million, when compared
with the plan Obama has proposed.
Many middle class families,
meanwhile, would see tax bills rise as much as $1,000 under the Boehner
plan. It ends tax breaks that benefit the middle class, including the
Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit.
administration said Plan B would raise only about $300 billion from
high-income households, less than a third of what Boehner proposed in
his last offer to Obama.
Republicans may move forward with a pair
of votes on Thursday, one to maintain existing tax rates for those
earning less than $250,000 per year and the Boehner alternative.