Conservative groups urge ‘no’ vote on Boehner’s ‘Plan B’

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The bill would seek to avoid part of the fiscal cliff by extending current income tax rates for incomes of less than $1 million per year. Taxes on larger incomes will rise from 35 percent to 39.6 percent in January.

Republicans have fought to extend all current Bush-era tax rates while President Obama wants rates to rise on those earning $250,000 or more. In the past, some Democrats have sought the higher threshold of $1 million, something Heritage Action pointed out Wednesday, in slamming the proposal.

“The plan is based on an idea floated by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in 2010 and endorsed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) earlier this year,” it said. “Allowing a tax increase to hit a certain segment of Americans and small businesses is not a solution; it is a political ploy.”

The group says that “decoupling” rates for upper incomes and the middle class would “constitute a clear path toward surrender on conservative principles.”

“America needs real leaders proposing real solutions, such as those found in Heritage’s Saving the American Dream plan or even the previous House-passed budget. That seriousness of purpose is undermined when a political party embraces the other side’s political gimmick, as is the case with the Schumer-Pelosi tax plan,” Heritage said.

The Club for Growth which will also be scoring the bill, called the proposal “anti-growth.”

“It increases tax rates for those making over $1 million while also raising taxes on capital gains and dividends. We don't buy into the Washington-speak, suggesting that these are actually tax cuts,” the group said.

House leaders are working in overdrive to get 218 GOP votes on Plan B.

Supporters of the measure say the real purpose of the plan is to give Boehner leverage in getting President Obama to put more spending cuts on the table in secretive deficit talks also under way. They say that by voiding most of the automatic tax increases due in January, the House GOP has the ability to walk away from the negotiating table with Obama.

Even as Heritage Action and the Club for Growth made their moves on Wednesday, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) gave its blessing to Plan B. ATR said voting for the bill does not explicitly violate the pledge not to vote for tax increases because the bill lowers taxes compared to the level they would rise to otherwise.

Heritage Action and the Club for Growth have consistently voiced opposition to the House GOP leadership's attempts at compromise with Democrats on the fiscal cliff.