WASHINGTON, (UPI) — U.S. House Speaker John Boehner called for a House vote Thursday on his fallback tax plan, despite Senate opposition and President Barack Obama’s veto threat.
In a public statement that lasted less than a minute, the Ohio Republican repeated his charge Obama’s latest offer was not “balanced.”
He said Obama’s proposal would raise more than $1.3 trillion in new tax revenue but cut spending only $930 billion.
The White House said Obama’s most recent offer includes roughly $1.2 trillion in spending cuts.
Republicans say too many of Obama’s proposed spending cuts came from items such as reduced interest payments on the federal debt, and said it was up to Obama to come up with more cuts.
Boehner counted interest savings as a spending cut in past deficit deals, The New York Times said.
In his one-minute statement, Boehner vowed his plan — which he calls Plan B, extending George W. Bush-era tax cuts beyond Dec. 31 for all incomes up to $1 million — would pass the House.
“Then the president will have a decision to make,” Boehner said. “He can call upon Senate Democrats to pass that bill, or he can be responsible for the largest tax increase in American history.”
Obama vowed Wednesday to veto the legislation if it reaches his desk.
But The New York Times said his veto threat would probably be moot because even if the bill passes the Republican-controlled House, it probably faces doom in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
Some lawmakers suggested to The Wall Street Journal that, no matter what, the stalled Obama-Boehner budget negotiations could resume if Plan B passes the House.
Obama said in a news conference Wednesday he would reach out to congressional leaders in coming days.
He also told reporters he found it “puzzling” Boehner would offer a fallback plan when the two sides were only a few hundred billion dollars apart, and added he would be willing to offer more spending cuts.
“If you look at Speaker Boehner’s proposal and you look at my proposal, they’re actually pretty close,” Obama said in the news conference. “There are a few differences, but we’re right there.”