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House Republicans Present Counteroffer on Fiscal Cliff

Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and House Republicans returned the White House’s volley Monday, presenting President Barack Obama with a counteroffer aimed at averting the fiscal cliff.

The proposal comes a few days after Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner came to the Capitol with a starting Democratic offer that was summarily rejected by House and Senate Republicans.

Boehner told reporters that he offered a major concession by putting revenue through tax reform on the table after the election and was dismayed by the White House deal.

“Unfortunately the White House responded with their la-la land offer that couldn’t pass the House, couldn’t pass the Senate,” Boehner said. “We could have responded in kind, but decided not to do that. And what we are putting forth is a credible plan that deserves serious consideration by the White House. And I’d hope that they would respond in a timely and responsible way.”

The plan would not raise tax rates on high income earners, as Obama has demanded, but instead calls for $800 billion in revenue through tax reform, likely ending some deductions and broadening the tax base while lowering rates, according to senior Republican aides.

It would also include $600 billion in health care saving, potentially through cuts to Medicare or by raising the eligibility age, and would institute another $300 billion in mandatory savings and $300 billion in discretionary savings.

Finally, the plan would call for revisions to the consumer price index, which the aides said would save $200 billion.

The offer would not, however, grant the president the stimulus spending he asked for in the deal Geithner delivered, nor would it raise the debt ceiling.

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