But then Republican House Speaker John Boehner rattled everyone's cages by proposing his "Plan B," which would make permanent the Bush tax cuts for all taxpayers with annual incomes under $1 million.
"Right now we need to do something to get the president's attention," Rep. Frank Lucas, R-OK, said in an interview with Bloomberg News. Boehner's approach "might just help," he said.
Fiscal Cliff Deal: What is Plan B?The Washington Post reported that Plan B legislation was still being drafted late Tuesday but, in addition to making the Bush tax rates permanent for incomes under $1 million, Plan B would create a permanent alternative minimum tax patch and maintain the 35% inheritance tax on estates of more than $5 million.
Plan B does not address the automatic, across the board spending cuts that will go into effect if a fiscal cliff deal fails, nor does it address the looming debt ceiling.
"I believe it's important that we protect as many American taxpayers as we can," Boehner said Tuesday. "And our Plan B would protect American taxpayers who make a million dollars or less and have all of their current rates extended."
Plan B is intended to avoid tax hikes on the vast majority of Americans and to buy time to address spending cuts and other issues in January, following the holiday recess.
Boehner plans a House vote on his Plan B on Thursday.