The US House of Representatives narrowly passed a bill on Thursday that will cut domestic spending and protect defense programs from a budget cut as a way to avert the fiscal cliff.
The measure was crafted by Republicans as a so-called back-up plan, in case a broader fiscal cliff negotiation fails, reports The Chicago Tribune.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, has vowed that the bill will die in the Senate. The bill passed the House on Thursday with a 215 to 209 vote. It is one of two bills the House planned to vote on on Thursday. The bills are being referred to as “Plan B” for averting the impending fiscal cliff.
Along with Reid, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney added that “the president would veto it if it got to his desk,” notes Fox News. Carney also described the pair of “Plan B” bills as a “multi-day exercise in futility.” House Speaker John Boehner, for his part, disagreed. He stated that he’s not convinced the bills will die in the Senate.
Boehner and Obama have been attempting to work together on negotiations to avert the fiscal cliff and were seemingly making progress. The “Plan B” bills, however, may be seen as a step back in the discussions. Many Democrats have been angered by the two bills. Boehner spoke of his negotiations with the White House, saying that “I did my part — they did nothing.” He added:
“Tomorrow, the House will pass legislation to make permanent tax relief for nearly every American. Then the president will have a decision to make. He can call on the Senate Democrats to pass that bill or he can be responsible for the largest tax increase in American history.”
Senior administration officials have accused the Speaker of the House of at least temporarily derailing fiscal cliff talks with his “Plan B” bills. Do you think the White House should help to pass the “Plan B” bills, or should they work together on a better agreement?