Updated: 12:45 p.m. ET
House Speaker John Boehner told the House Republican Conference this morning that, given the short time before America goes over the so-called "fiscal cliff," the House will begin work on a "Plan B" to let taxes go up on income over $1 million. President Obama and Senate Democrats, however, were quick to shoot down Boehner's "plan B."
Boehner and Mr. Obama have been moving closer to a deal over an economic package as they attempt to avert the "cliff" -- a series of tax hikes and across-the-board spending cuts set to kick in at the start of next year. Negotiations will continue, but with the clock ticking down, the House will take up its "plan B" to ensure that most Americans won't see an income tax hike on Jan. 1.
The president's latest offer calls for $1.2 trillion in revenue and $930 billion in spending cuts, with the revenue coming from higher income taxes on income over $400,000. "That's not balanced in my opinion," Boehner said today in a press conference. "So at the same time that we're going to continue to talk to the president we're going to also move plan B."
He added, however, that he still has "hope" that "we can reach a broader agreement with the White House that would reduce spending as well as have revenues on the table."
In response to Boehner's "plan B," White House press secretary Jay Carney said that Mr. Obama has already put a "balanced, reasonable proposal" on the table. Mr. Obama, Carney said in a statement, "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," Carney continued. "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."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also released a statement suggesting that Boehner's "plan B" won't go anywhere in the Senate.