|ALAN FRAM and JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press|
Obama cast a resolution to the "fiscal cliff" as a matter of political will. He said in the aftermath of the massacre of school children in
"Goodness, if this past week has done anything, it should just give us some perspective," he said. And he urged lawmakers to "peel off the partisan war paint" and strike a deal.
Obama spoke to reporters at the
His comments came shortly after the
Boehner is planning a House vote on his proposal on Thursday, hoping it would raise pressure on President
Obama, however, dismissed Boehner's proposal, saying it would not provide unemployment insurance for 2 million jobless Americans and would result in higher taxes for families that benefit from various tax credits.
"That violates the core principles that were debated during the course of this election and that the American people determined was the wrong way to go," Obama said. Instead, Obama said, he and Boehner in their own talks had moved significantly toward each other before talks reached a lull on Tuesday.
"What separates us is probably a few hundred billion dollars," Obama said. "The idea that we would put our economy at risk because you can't bridge that gap doesn't make a lot of sense."
"If Democrats disapprove of this bill, then there is a simple solution: amend it in the
Senior administration officials said there have been no talks advancing the negotiations on a big fiscal cliff deal since Monday, after Boehner called Obama to say he was going to take a Plan B to the House. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the negotiations.
In the absence of a deal with Obama, Boehner's Plan B is attracting support from Republicans eager to cast a vote preventing tax increases on as many people as possible.
Boehner's prospects for pushing Plan B through the House received a boost Wednesday when anti-tax activist
Norquist said the "sole purpose" of Plan B is to prevent tax increases _ not mentioning that it would allow higher taxes on people earning over
Obama's latest offer _ focusing tax boosts on incomes above
Boehner's backup plan could serve other purposes besides letting
Allowing a vote on Plan B might increase
Even so, House GOP leaders are laboring to line up enough support for the backup measure in the face of conservatives reluctant to boost anyone's taxes. Even if it could survive in the House, Senate Majority Leader
The backup plan by Boehner would do nothing to head off deep cuts in defense and domestic programs scheduled to begin taking effect in January. And it contains none of the spending reductions that both Obama and Boehner have proposed in their efforts to strike a compromise.
"The speaker is trying to get as much leverage as he can to deal with the president," said Rep.
"I'm still trying to figure that out," Boustany said.
Others were more supportive. Rep.
Besides letting tax rates rise only on incomes exceeding
Boehner unveiled his backup plan on Tuesday. He did so even though he and Obama have come tantalizingly close to finding a politically palatable combination of revenue increases and budget savings that could slice around
Both sides say those efforts will continue.
Obama has reduced his demands for tax increases to
Boehner has boosted his revenue offer to
"I think it's a mistake for the
Obama has also departed from his party's orthodoxy by proposing smaller annual cost-of-living increases for
The president's embrace of a plan that would over time cut
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