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Fiscal Cliff Stalmate—Again—As White House Rejects House GOP Plan

House Republicans called for $2.2 trillion in deficit reduction over the next 10 years


House Republicans unveiled a counter-proposal to President Barack Obama's fiscal cliff plan on Monday, calling for $2.2 trillion in deficit reduction over the next ten years.

While rejecting Obama's plan, which demanded tax rate increases for wealthier Americans, the GOP proposed $1.4 trillion in spending cuts and $800 billion in revenue by limiting tax breaks and capping deductions, Bloomberg reported.

House Speaker John Boehner called his offer "a credible plan that deserves serious consideration from the White House," according to The New York Times. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he backed Boehner's approach.

Regardless, later in the day, the White House rejected the proposed GOP plan, saying it did not meet the "test of balance," according to Politico. "In fact, it actually promises to lower rates for the wealthy and sticks the middle class with the bill," said White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer.

Pfeiffer continued, "Independent analysts who have looked at plans like this one have concluded that middle class taxes will have to go up to pay for lower rates for millionaires and billionaires. While the president is willing to compromise to get a significant, balanced deal and believes that compromise is readily available to Congress, he is not willing to compromise on the principles of fairness and balance that include asking the wealthiest to pay higher rates."

According to The Washington Post, the plan would cut $600 billion from federal health programs and use a more meager calculation of inflation for Social Security benefits.

The offer was made by Boehner and six other House Republican leaders in a letter to Obama, and based on the framework laid out by Democrat Erskine Bowles during last year's budget talks, The Post reported.

"With the fiscal cliff nearing, our priority remains finding a reasonable solution that can pass both the House and the Senate, and be signed into law in the next couple of weeks," said the letter. "The best way to do this is by learning from and building on the bipartisan discussion that have occurred [earlier in] this Congress."

While the GOP offer raises $800 billion in tax revenue over ten years, Obama's plan raises $1.6 trillion in the same time span, $960 billion of it coming from the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy, noted The Times.