WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

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Maryland Lawmaker Not Sold On Boehner's 'Plan B'

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Democrats in the D.C. region say House Speaker John Boehner's latest plan to divert the fiscal cliff is dead on arrival.

Last year some prominent Democrats proposed raising taxes on people making more than $1 million per year, but you wouldn't know it from their response to Boehner's "Plan B" proposal this week. Plan B would let the Bush-era tax cuts expire on income over $1 million.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) opposes the move, saying the proposal doesn't move the two sides closer to a deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.

"It's not going anywhere, so I just think it's not helpful," Cardin says. "It seems like more trying to cover, and I'm not sure what he's trying to cover so I don't think it's helpful."

With no deal, steep budget cuts known as sequestration are slated to rip through the federal budget in January, which could hit the Washington area especially hard. Besides wanting to avoid that, many of the region's Democrats also want to raise the debt limit as a part of budget agreement. Cardin believes there's still time.

"I still hope we can get at least a deal that will avoid sequestration, that avoids the debt limit, and get at least enough done for that," Cardin says.

The speaker's latest proposal could come to the House floor as early as Thursday.

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