Senator Reid rejects Boehner "fiscal cliff" backup plan

WASHINGTON Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:11am EST

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid speaks to reporters in the Capitol in Washington December 13, 2012. Congressional leaders and the Obama administration are attempting to negotiate a deal to avoid the so-called ''fiscal cliff'' and work toward a deficit reduction package in the next session of Congress that begins in January. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid speaks to reporters in the Capitol in Washington December 13, 2012. Congressional leaders and the Obama administration are attempting to negotiate a deal to avoid the so-called ''fiscal cliff'' and work toward a deficit reduction package in the next session of Congress that begins in January.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - House Speaker John Boehner's backup plan that would simply extend low income tax rates for households with incomes below $1 million a year "cannot pass both houses of Congress," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Tuesday.

Reid, a Democrat, said Boehner instead should focus on reaching a broad deficit-reduction deal with President Barack Obama. "Now is the time to show leadership, not kick the can down the road," Reid said.

Last July, Reid's Democrats passed a bill in the Senate that would have continued low tax rates, which are set to expire on December 31, for families with net incomes below $250,000.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan)

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