Speaker John Boehner’s decision to pursue a fallback strategy has made it even more difficult to reach a comprehensive deficit reduction deal and raised the chances of going off the fiscal cliff, senior administration officials said.
Substantive talks have grinded to a halt since Boehner’s announcement Tuesday to pursue a Plan B bill that would raise taxes on income above $1 million, but does nothing to deal with across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester, entitlement spending, and a host of expiring provisions.
President Barack Obama is willing to continue talks with Boehner, the officials said, but the two have not spoken since Monday night, when the speaker informed him of the alternate strategy.
Obama is scheduled to travel to Hawaii on Friday for a family vacation but will remain in Washington until Congress’s schedule comes into focus, the officials said.
The administration officially responded to the Plan B strategy Wednesday by issuing a veto threat.
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