At a press conference with Republican leaders today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said Republicans will continue to work with the White House to find a balanced solution to the "fiscal cliff" that cuts spending. But in the meantime, Boehner said, the House will soon vote to protect as many American taxpayers as possible from the tax hikes scheduled to hit on January 1:
"Our hope continues to be to reach an agreement with the president on a "balanced' approach that averts the fiscal cliff. What we've offered meets the definition of balance, but the president is not there yet. The White House offer yesterday was essentially $1.3 trillion in new revenues for only $850 billion in net spending reductions. That's not balanced in my opinion.
"So at the same time that we're going to continue to talk with the president, we're going to also move Plan B. I think we all know that every income tax filer in America is going to pay higher rates come January 1 unless Congress acts. So I believe it's important that we protect as many American taxpayers as we can. Our Plan B would protect American taxpayers who make $1 million or less, and have all of their current rates extended.
"I continue to have hope that we can reach a broader agreement with the White House that would reduce spending as well as have revenues on the table. I think it'd be better for our country. But at this point, having a backup plan that makes sure that as few American taxpayers are affected by this increase as possible -- moving down that path is the right course of action for us."
NOTE: The House passed a bipartisan bill in August to stop all of the tax hikes on families and small businesses. Survey after survey has shown a majority of the American people prefer the balanced solution to the fiscal cliff offered by Republicans which calls for spending cuts and tax reform.