The Ryan bill passed the House earlier this year, but stalled in the Senate as Democrats resisted cuts to the school lunch program and other popular programs. The House voted to approve it, 215-209, on Thursday, mainly along party lines.
Even that gesture was not sufficient for some House Republicans. Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), said he planned to vote against the Ryan bill and Plan B, explaining that the proposals failed to make tough budget cuts.
“It’s kind of like Wimpy in the Popeye cartoons: ‘I’ll be glad to pay you tomorrow for a hamburger today,’” Broun said, “and I’m not going to give the hamburger anymore.”
Boehner’s Plan B would continue most of the existing tax rates, first approved under President George W. Bush, that would otherwise expire at the end of this year, while allowing taxes to rise on household income above $1 million. The top 35% rate would increase to 39.6%, and the 15% rate on capital gains and dividends would rise to 20% for those high earners.
The Boehner bill excluded other expiring provisions, including college and child tax credits, first approved under Obama in 2009. An analysis from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center said that means Plan B would raise taxes on low- and moderate-income households that claim those credits.
Staff writer Colby Itkowitz contributed to this report.