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US anti-tax activist Norquist blesses Boehner's fiscal cliff plan

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Wed, 19 Dec 2012 18:54 GMT
Author: Reuters
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WASHINGTON, Dec 19 (Reuters) - U.S. anti-tax activist Grover Norquist on Wednesday gave his blessing to House Speaker John Boehner's backup plan to avert "the fiscal cliff," saying it would adhere to lawmakers' pledge not to increase taxes.

Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform noted that Boehner's "Plan B," set to be voted on Thursday by the full House, would shield more than 98 percent of Americans from a tax hike.

Though it would also permit a tax increase for those earning more than ${esc.dollar}1 million to automatically kick in, as scheduled, on Jan. 1, Norquist's group said it would not consider a vote for "Plan B" to be a violation of its Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

Regardless, another conservative group, The Club for Growth, came out against Boehner's plan and urged House members to oppose it.

"On the substance, this bill is anti-growth," Club for Growth said in a statement. "It increases tax rates for those making over ${esc.dollar}1 million while also raising taxes on capital gains and dividends."

Boehner's Plan B is widely seen as a bargaining tool aimed at trying to extract additional concessions from President Barack Obama as part of a long-sought deal to avert a crush of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts set to begin next month.

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