By Jonathan Easley - 12/18/12 06:55 PM EST
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday ripped Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) “Plan B,” saying the “B” stood for “befuddled.”
“I would call it 'Plan Befuddled,' ” she said on MSNBC’s "Andrea Mitchell Reports." “It’s really difficult to imagine why they even came up with it.”
In a statement, Pelosi said that the Republican leadership had "delivered a victory to President Obama." "Republicans have now yielded on the point of rates. So why won’t they work with Democrats on tax rates as part of a responsible, balanced agreement to create jobs, spur the economy, strengthen the middle class, and reduce the deficit?"
During the interview, Pelosi said the proposal was a ploy by Republicans to prove to the public they’re willing to raise rates on the wealthiest.
Democrats are looking to raise rates on those making more than $400,000, and Pelosi said the Republican plan wouldn’t get the Democratic supports it needs to pass the House.
“The Democrats are not going to give them that success, you can be sure of that,” she continued. “It’s a tactic, but it’s not a serious proposal.”
However, Republicans are pointing to a letter Pelosi sent to Boehner earlier this year calling for the immediate passage of tax cuts for those making up to $1 million, where Boehner’s “Plan B” sits now.
Pelosi said Tuesday that, at the time, she was trying to “smoke out” Republicans to see if they’d be willing to raise taxes at all.
“We were suggesting then to smoke out the Republicans – at what level would you raise the rates on the wealthiest people in our country?,” she said. “Not, would you raise them at a million dollars? That was the point of that exercise.”
Some Democrats are pushing back on aspects of the president’s plan – in particular Obama’s offer to change the way cost-of-living increases are calculated for benefits in entitlement programs, and an offer to chain the Consumer Price Index, which would raise $130 billion over 10 years.
Pelosi said Democrats would “stick with the president,” although “maybe not every single one of them.”
The White House and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) were also quick to reject Boehner’s move.
“Speaker Boehner’s ‘Plan B’ is the farthest thing from a balanced approach,” Reid said in a statement Tuesday morning. “It will not protect middle-class families because it cannot pass both houses of Congress.”