Conservatives Push Back Against Boehner’s “Plan B”

“There’s a core conservative principle here at stake,” Rep. Heulskamp says.

Gary Cameron / Reuters

WASHINGTON — Conservative Republicans continued to push back Wednesday against House Speaker John Boehner’s “plan B” to avert the fiscal cliff, which would let tax rates go up on income exceeding $1 million.

“It’s about core conservative principles, and there’s a core conservative principle here at stake,” said Republican Rep. Tim Heulskamp.

Although some Republicans, including Boehner, have argued that a vote for the plan wouldn’t amount to explicit support for a tax hike, Heulskamp said he “would certainly deserve primary opposition” were he to support an increase in taxes.

Outside groups, including the Club for Growth and Heritage Action, also came out against the plan, and issued stern warnings to Republicans who might support it.

“They will lose control of the House,” said Brent Bozell, the founder of the conservative Media Research Center.

“This is precisely what happened to them six years ago, and they’ve already forgotten that message,” he added.

Nevertheless, in a press conference earlier Wednesday, Boehner pressed ahead with his proposal, which the House will vote on tomorrow. Boehner said he expects the bill will pass.

“And then the president will have a decision to make: He can call on Senate Democrats to pass that bill, or he can be responsible for the largest tax increase in American history.”

He added, “I hope the president will get serious soon about providing and working with us on a balanced approach.”

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, meanwhile, hit back at Boehner, charging the Speaker had “slammed the door in the president’s face” when he decided to move forward with his Plan B.

But Pelosi also had a warning for the White House, saying she had encouraged Democratic opponents of Obama’s latest plan — which would change entitlement spending — to “express yourself, speak out … they go forth with my blessing.”

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