Just when things were looking up in the fiscal cliff talks, this happens:

The White House on Tuesday rejected House Speaker John Boehner’s call for a fall-back option to avert the looming fiscal crisis, in a move the speaker’s office said “defies common sense.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) wasted no time on Tuesday rejecting a new “Plan B” floated by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to avoid the “fiscal cliff.”

Despite President Obama’s offer to raise tax rates on households making $400,000 or more, up from his original ceiling of $250,000, Boehner plans to bring a bill to the House floor this week that would preserve the Bush-era tax cuts for all but those making $1 million or more. He calls it a “precautionary measure to ensure taxes don’t rise for most Americans on Jan. 1,” a measure that would also keep the estate tax from rising and keep the alternative-minimum tax from expanding its grasp. Has Boehner lost faith that he and Obama can reach a deal, despite the seeming evidence to the contrary? Or, with members of his own caucus calling Plan B a “hell, no,” and the other side balking, is ‘Plan B’ just a negotiating gambit in talks in which almost everyone thinks that president’s got the upper hand?

Boehner Weighs ‘Cliff’ Backup Plan [WSJ]
White House rejects Boehner ‘Plan B’ with threat of tax hikes looming [Fox News]
Reid swiftly rejects Boehner’s ‘Plan B’ [The Hill]
Obama Offer Raises Tax Increase Threshold to $400,000 [Bloomberg]
“Fiscal cliff” deal closer, but gaps remain [Reuters]
Boehner moves to ‘Plan B’ [The Hill]

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