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House GOP puts off vote on ‘Plan B’

WASHINGTON (AP) — Confronted with a revolt among the rank and file, House Republicans abruptly scrapped a vote Thursday night on legislation allowing tax rates to rise for households earning $1 million and up, complicating attempts to avoid a year-end “fiscal cliff” that threatens to send the economy into recession.

In a brief statement, Speaker John Boehner conceded the bill “did not have sufficient support from our members to pass.” At the same time he challenged President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to work on legislation to avoid across-the-board tax increases and deep spending cuts due to take effect in less than two weeks.

“The Senate must now act,” the Ohio Republican said.

In a statement released a short while later, the White House said the president’s “main priority is to ensure that taxes don’t go up on 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses in just a few short days. The president will work with Congress to get this done and we are hopeful that we will be able to find a bipartisan solution quickly that protects the middle class and our economy.”

Emerging from a hurriedly-called evening meeting of House Republicans, Ohio Rep. Steve LaTourette said Boehner had told lawmakers he’s “going to call the president and he’s going to go down and talk to him and maybe they can hammer something out.”

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