Obama rejects Boehner backup plan on "fiscal cliff"

WASHINGTON Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:01pm EST

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the White House in Washington November 28, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the White House in Washington November 28, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Tuesday rejected House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner's "fiscal cliff" backup proposal, saying it fails to meet President Barack Obama's call for a balanced approach and does not put enough of a tax burden on the wealthiest Americans.

The White House weighed in after an aide to Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, said the speaker would begin work on "Plan B" legislation, which would simply extend lower tax rates for incomes below $1 million a year, while negotiations proceed with the White House on a broader tax and spending deal.

"He (Obama) is not willing to accept a deal that doesn't ask enough of the very wealthiest in taxes and instead shifts the burden to the middle class and seniors," Obama spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement. "The president is hopeful that both sides can work out remaining differences and reach a solution so we don't miss the opportunity in front of us today."

(Reporting By Matt Spetalnick and Mark Felsenthal)

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