Fiscal Cliff Showdown: Are Republicans All-In?
On Thursday Evening, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on “Plan B,” the GOP revenue proposal championed by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). Boehner’s proposal would make permanent the Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans earning less than $1 million per year, while letting them expire for those who make more than that. Many in the Republican camp are saying the deal is the best the Democrats are going to get from them.
The proposal is aptly named — Republicans came to the table with a strict no-new-taxes position and fought hard to stay there, but it seems the ticking clock has forced their hand. Accepting the premise that allowing the Bush-era cuts to expire wouldn’t (technically) constitute a tax increase, Boehner pegged the income cut-off point at $1 million, four times President Barack Obama’s proposed $250,000.
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In turn, the President, perhaps thinking he had entered the liminal zone of reasonable negotiation, acknowledged Boehner’s concession and bumped his income limit to $400,000. If Obama was expecting to haggle, he was wrong. Boehner’s response was to take his proposal straight to the House, where again they are expected to vote on it Thursday evening.
“We House Republicans are taking concrete actions to avoid the fiscal cliff,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) told reporters on Thursday morning. “The President has a decision to make: He can support the measures or be responsible for supporting reckless spending and the largest tax increase in American history.”