Some conservatives looking for Plan C

December 19, 2012

Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) said Wednesday that some conservatives are trying to put together an alternative to a plan forwarded by House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) to avert the year-end fiscal cliff.

According to Broun, some GOP rank-and-file, opposed to Boehner's plan to allow tax rates to rise for those making more than $1 million a year, are proposing to extend tax breaks at all income levels. That idea would also be packaged with a separate Republican bill passed by the House in May that would shift automatic cuts in military spending set to take effect in May onto other domestic programs.

"I think that’s what makes the most sense from a policy perspective," Broun said.

"We’ve just got to stop the spending in Washington, and having a bill that doesn't deal with the real problem, which is outrageous spending by both parties, is not the way to go," Broun said of Boehner's proposal, the so-called Plan B.

Boehner predicted confidently Wednesday that his plan would pass the House on Thursday. However, a number of conservatives have said they will reject it. Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), who is serving his final days in Congress after being defeated in his reelection bid in November, said Wednesday that he will be a no. "If you don’t draw a contrast with the other side, who are you?" he said.

A number of other Republicans said they were still undecided. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.), retiring next month, said he had not yet delved into the bill's details, but added: "I never vote to raise taxes. That's what I do. If it's raising taxes, I don't vote for it."

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), who chairs the House's doctors caucus, said the measure was a "struggle," for him to support, in part because it does not address the so-called doc fix, a patch intended to avert scheduled deep cuts in Medicare payments for physicians.

"My powder is completely dry," Gingrey said.

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