Republicans Release Plan to Avoid Cliff

GOP plan would generate $800B in new tax revenue and curb healthcare spending by $600B.

This Nov. 29, 2012, photo shows House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington.
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Republicans pitched their own plan to avoid the fiscal cliff Monday that ignores the president's demand to raise taxes on people making more than $250,000.

Instead, House Republicans proposed what they dubbed a "credible plan" that would drastically reform the tax code and generate $800 billion in revenue by closing loopholes, capping deductions and lowering rates.

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The offer was largely designed after a plan Erskine Bowles, co-chair of the 2010 "Debt Commission," supported during the Super Committee showdown last year, said Kevin Smith, a spokesman for House Majority Leader Rep. John Boehner.

Some Democrats dispute the similarities between the GOP offer and Bowles' proposals.

Boehner's plan also would include $600 billion in spending cuts that could be achieved through changes to Medicaid and Medicare, $300 billion in mandatory savings, $300 billion in discretionary savings, and $200 billion in savings from reforming the way the Consumer Price Index is calculated to dole out money for things like Social Security.

The plan also would make cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Federal Employee compensation program.

"What we're putting forth is a credible plan that deserves serious consideration by the White House, and I would hope that they would respond in a timely and responsible way," Boehner said during a meeting with reporters.

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Republicans made it clear that they still are strongly opposed to increasing the tax rates for households making more than $250,000.

The plan is a response to the White House's proposal released last Wednesday which included $1.6 trillion in tax hikes, roughly $50 billion in stimulus spending, and $400 billion in budget cuts.

Boehner said the White House's plan simply was an unreasonable and not serious request.

"I was just flabbergasted," Boehner told Fox News of his meeting with White House budget officials. "I looked at him, and I said, 'You can't be serious.' ... I've just never seen anything like it.' You know, we've got seven weeks between Election Day and the end of the year. And three of those weeks have been wasted with this nonsense."

Boehner said he had not heard yet from the White House, but acknowledged that he could "run into [the president]" at the White House holiday soiree Monday night.

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Lauren Fox is a political reporter for U.S. News and World Report. You can follow her on Twitter or reach her at lfox@usnews.com.