Fiscal Cliff Talks Stall, House Votes on 'Plan B'

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A confrontation is looming between House Republicans and President Obama as the country inches toward the infamous fiscal cliff.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is set to hold a vote Thursday on a proposal he calls "Plan B."

The plan would extend tax cuts for anyone making up to $1 million, protecting 98 percent of Americans.

"I hope the president will get serious soon about providing and working with us on a balanced approach," Boehner said.

This comes after the president blasted Boehner's latest plan to halt fiscal cliff talks and focus on extending the Bush era tax cuts.

"What I wouldn't do was hurt vulnerable families only to pay for a tax cut for somebody like me," the president told reporters Wednesday.

Democrats call Plan B a waste of time, but the speaker said he's confident his plan will pass in the House, saying the president should act responsibly.

"He can call on Senate Democrats to pass that bill or he could be responsible for the largest tax increase in American history," Boehner said.

But the House GOP has its critics. Some say they won't vote for Plan B because it raises taxes. Still, Republican aides insist they've counted the votes and they have enough for the plan to pass.

Experts say this push by Republicans is meant to take leverage away from the president. If the nation goes over the cliff, Republicans can say they passed legislation and he rejected it.

But a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll says 56 percent of Americans will blame both parties if the nation goes over the cliff.

"What separates us is probably a few hundred billion dollars," Obama said. "The idea that we would put our economy at risk because you can't bridge that gap doesn't make a lot of sense."

Successful fiscal cliff negotiations could mean higher Medicare premiums for seniors.

Both Republicans and Democrats agree on expanding a law that requires retirees considered "well off" by the government to pay more.

Right now about 5 percent of Medicare beneficiaries pay higher premiums. That number could grow to 25 percent.

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