House Speaker John Boehner (Getty Images)
WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House is rejecting House Speaker John Boehner's plan to push a backup tax bill as a way to deal with the "fiscal cliff."
In a statement, White House spokesman Jay Carney says Boehner's "Plan B" approach can't pass the Senate. And he says it does little to address the nation's fiscal challenges.
Unless the White House and Congress reach a deal, a series of tax increases and spending cuts begin taking effect on Jan. 1.
Boehner is calling for a separate bill to address only taxes. He wants lawmakers to extend tax cuts for people making up to $1 million.
Carney says the president is willing to continue working with Republicans to keep from going over the fiscal cliff.
Statement by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney:
The President has put a balanced, reasonable proposal on the table that achieves significant deficit reduction and reflects real compromise by meeting the Republicans halfway on revenue and more than halfway on spending from where each side started. That is the essence of compromise. The parameters of a deal are clear, and the President is willing to continue to work with Republicans to reach a bipartisan solution that averts the fiscal cliff, protects the middle class, helps the economy, and puts our nation on a fiscally sustainable path. But he is not willing to accept a deal that doesn't ask enough of the very wealthiest in taxes and instead shifts the burden to the middle class and seniors. The Speaker's "Plan B" approach doesn't meet this test because it can't pass the Senate and therefore will not protect middle class families, and does little to address our fiscal challenges with zero spending cuts. The President is hopeful that both sides can work out remaining differences and reach a solution so we don't miss the opportunity in front of us today.