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U.S. President Barack Obama speaks at a news conference at the White House in Washington D.C. on Dec. 19, 2012. Obama said on Wednesday that he and the House Speaker John Boehner need to bridge a gap of "a few hundred billion dollars" on the "fiscal cliff" talks and expressed hope to strike a deal before Christmas. (Xinhua/Fang Zhe)
U.S. President Barack Obama would veto the House Speaker John Boehner's "Plan B" proposal on " fiscal cliff", a combination of tax increases and spending cuts due on Jan. 1, 2013, the White House said Wednesday.
"This approach does not meet the test of balance, and the President would veto the legislation in the unlikely event of its passage," White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer said in a statement. "The President urges the Republican leadership to work with us to resolve remaining differences and find a reasonable solution to this situation today."
Boehner said on Tuesday that he would move to "Plan B", a proposal for avoiding the looming fiscal woes if his attempts to forge a broader deal with the White House fail. Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives could vote on Thursday on the bill.
According to the primary estimate of the White House, the backup plan Boehner proposed Tuesday would extend all of the Bush- era tax cuts -- including the reduced income tax rates and the lower dividend and capital gains rates -- on the first 1 million U. S. dollars of income and at the same time repeal tax expenditure limits even for households with incomes more than 1 million dollars.
The White House said that Boehner' Plan B raises only about 300 billion dollars from the wealthiest, and the millionaires would get an average tax cut of 50,000 dollars.
In his latest offer, Obama said he would accept a deal that raise the threshold for tax hikes for a household's annual income to 400,000 dollars from 250,000 dollars he initially insisted.
Without a deal between the White House and Congress, all of the Bush-era tax rates will expire at the end of the year, and automatic tax increases and spending cuts are set to kick in. Economists have warned that the combination of tax hikes and spending cuts could drag the U.S. economy into recession.