Back to drawing board on fiscal cliff

12:04 PM, Dec 21, 2012   |    comments
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Video: Boehner Pulls Bill From Floor

U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) and President Barack Obama(File photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON -- House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Friday he will continue looking for ways to resolve the "fiscal cliff" even after fellow Republicans rejected his proposed "Plan B."

Referring to President Obama and the Democratic-run Senate, Boehner told reporters: "We only run the House -- Democrats continue to run Washington."

Boehner, who has objected to a debt reduction plan proposed this week by Obama, spoke the night after he failed to get enough votes for "Plan B," which would have focused on extending most of the George W. Bush-era tax cuts.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama's main priority is to get a deal that avoids the fiscal cliff, the tax hikes and massive budget cuts that kick in next year unless the parties on a debt reduction deal.

"The president will work with Congress to get this done and we are hopeful that we will be able to find a bipartisan solution quickly that protects the middle class and our economy," Carney said.

Boehner said it was up to Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to come up with something for the House to consider, adding that the House passed a bill Aug. 1 that would prevent taxes for going up. The House also passed, 215-209, a bill Thursday that would stop the automatic spending reductions that would cut $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years.

"There is no Senate bill that has been sent to the House," Boehner said, If the Senate wanted to act on the House tax bill from August, "we'll take a look at it," he said.

Boehner and House Republican leaders had planned to debate and vote on Plan B Thursday night after the successful vote on the spending bill. But enough House members opposed the bill, Boehner said, "because there was a perception created that that vote last night was going to raise taxes."

The speaker said he would keep trying to work out a deal with Obama. "How we get there, God only knows."

Boehner said he did not believe the failure to reach a vote on Plan B would hurt his speakership. "If you do the right thing every day for the right reasons, the right thing will happen."

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