Pelosi calls Plan B an 'act of desperation'

Calling the Republicans' "Plan B" strategy "an act of desperation," Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) warned GOP leaders Wednesday that they're on their own getting the bill through the House.

"The Plan B will not pass as a result of Democratic votes," Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol. 

Leaders in both parties are whipping furiously ahead of Thursday's expected vote on Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) plan to extend a tax break next year only for incomes below $1 million per year, which he called Plan B, if his talks with President Obama on a much larger fiscal-cliff package break down.

Obama and the Democrats want more households to see a tax hike — they've proposed higher rates on income above $250,000 and later $400,000 — and Pelosi said Wednesday that nothing's changed on that front.

"Tax cuts [expiring] for those making over $250,000 a year is something the president campaigned on," she said. "There is absolutely no deviation from that."

Boehner's alternative would allow the Bush-era tax rates to expire for those making more than $1 million — pushing rates for the wealthiest Americans back to the 39.6 percent of the Clinton years — while making the other rates permanent.

The proposal, which the White House threatened to veto Wednesday, does not address the debt ceiling or prevent the sequester cuts from taking effect next year. 

Pelosi on Wednesday characterized Plan B as irresponsible because it fails to tackle those issues, and she accused Boehner of giving up on a larger deal because of recalcitrance in his own conference.

"This action that the Speaker announced just slammed the door in the president's face for that kind of compromise," she said.

"I think what we saw here earlier was really an act of desperation. It didn't look like, to me, a person who had the votes."

A House GOP aide said Wednesday that Boehner will likely bring the bill to the floor even if it is not assured passage.