In yet another fiery exchange over efforts to avert the fiscal cliff, a top White House administration official said Wednesday President Obama will veto House Speaker John Boehner's backup plan.
"This approach does not meet the test of balance, and the President would veto the legislation in the unlikely event of its passage," White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer said in a release.
The announcement comes just one day after Boehner unveiled his "Plan B" proposal, which would allow tax rates to rise for taxpayers earning over $1 million, similar to a Democratic proposal floated earlier this year.
The plan would also stop nearly 30 million individuals from becoming subject to the alternative minimum tax and extend the current estate tax rate of 35% to avoid a jump to 55% for estates valued at more than $1 million.
The AMT, which was created to ensure that wealthy individuals paid their share of income taxes, has never been indexed to inflation. Traditionally Congress "patches" the AMT but the last patch expired at the end of 2011. All private activity bonds are subject to the AMT.
The "Plan B" proposal does not deal with the $1.2 trillion in automatic, across-the-board federal budget cuts, known as sequestration, set to go into effect beginning on Jan. 1.
Despite some uncertainty among members in Boehner's caucus, House Republicans plan to move forward with two votes on Thursday - one that would keep current tax rates for those taxpayers earning less than $250,000 and one on the GOP "Plan B."
in the release, Pfeiffer said, "The Congressional Republican "Plan B" legislation continues large tax cuts for the very wealthiest individuals - on average, millionaires would see a tax break of $50,000 -- while eliminating tax cuts that 25 million students and families struggling to make ends meet depend on and ending critical incentives for our nation's businesses."
Pfeiffer emphasized that the president has put forward a proposal that meets Boehner halfway on both taxes and spending.
Boehner was quick to respond to the White House's veto threat.
"The White House's opposition to a back-up plan to ensure taxes don't rise on American families is growing more bizarre and irrational by the day," said Boehner spokesperson Brendan Buck. "Republicans have always said a broader, 'balanced' plan is the ideal solution, and we have put one forward. In the absence of a 'balanced' solution from the President, however, we must act to stop taxes from rising across the board in 12 days. If Democrats disapprove of this bill, then there is a simple solution: amend it in the Senate and send it back to the House."