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House GOP puts off vote on ‘Plan B' as fiscal cliff looms


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The tax bill would prevent scheduled increases from taking effect on Jan. 1 on all income under $1 million. Above that, the current rate of 35 percent would rise to 39.6 percent, the level in effect more than a decade ago when then-President George W. Bush signed tax cuts into law that now are expiring.

The top rates also would rise on capital gains and dividends from 15 percent to 20 percent.

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By any measure, the two bills in the House were far removed from the latest offers that officials said Obama and Boehner had tendered.

Obama is now seeking $1.2 trillion in higher tax revenue, down from the $1.6 trillion he initially sought. He also has softened his demand for higher tax rates on household incomes so they would apply to incomes over $400,000 instead of the $250,000 he cited during his successful campaign for a new term.

He also has offered more than $800 billion in spending cuts over a decade, half of it from Medicare and Medicaid, $200 billion from farm and other benefit programs, $100 billion from defense and $100 billion from a broad swath of government accounts ranging from parks to transportation to education.

In a key concession to Republicans, the president also has agreed to slow the rise in cost-of-living increases in Social Security and other benefit programs, at a savings estimated at about $130 billion over a decade.

By contrast, Boehner’s most recent offer allowed for about $940 billion in higher taxes over a decade, with higher rates for annual incomes over $1 million.

His latest offer seeks about $1.2 trillion in spending cuts, not counting the change in the cost-of-living adjustment that Obama has said he can accept. He is seeking $600 billion in savings from Medicare and Medicaid, $200 billion from other benefit programs and $300 billion from a range of government accounts.




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