No “Plan B” for Connecticut lawmakers

As the nation inches toward a fiscal cliff, House Speaker John Boehner failed to win support late Thursday on a bill he calls “Plan B.” It would have extended a series of tax breaks for everyone but millionaires.

The tax breaks are set to expire Dec. 31, raising taxes for nearly all Americans.

President Obama has rejected Boehner’s plan and asked the speaker to come back to the negotiating table to reach an accord on taxes and spending.

Neither do Connecticut’s Democratic lawmakers think much of Plan B.

Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., called it “a charade. [Boehner] doesn’t have the votes within his caucus” to approve any type of tax hike, Larson said earlier in the day.

He proved to be right.

Boehner argued Plan B would shield more than 99 percent of Americans from a tax hike after Dec. 31.

But conservatives in his party rejected any type of tax hike, even on millionaires.  Boehner’s failure is said to weaken his hand in negotiations with the White House.

The House also approved a bill, proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., that would prevent $500 billion in automatic budget cuts on Jan. 2 if Congress does not find at least $109 billion in savings before then. It was approved 215-209.

Not one Democrat, including the five members of Connecticut’s House delegation, voted for it.

Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Conn., called the bill “pathetic” because it would cut social programs deeply.

“It’s a scorched earth policy and a clear political gambit,” Courtney said