WASHINGTON -- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell blamed Democrats for forcing House leaders to pull a vote on the Plan B proposal to extend the current tax rates for all but the wealthiest Americans, and said the onus is now on them to find a workable solution in time to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.
House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) has "done his part" to try to find a path to a deal, McConnell said Friday. "He's bent over backwards," he said, adding, "This isn't John Boehner's problem to solve."
Until Democrats present an alternative, McConnell said, the Senate should take up legislation the Republican-controlled House has already passed to extend all current tax rates for an additional year, with instructions to enact comprehensive tax reform in 2013. If Democrats have amendments they want to offer, they should, and differences could then be worked out with the House, he said.
"It's called legislating. Its what we used to do in Congress,” McConnell said.
With the failure of Boehner's Plan B, any solution to avert the year-end fiscal cliff of automatic tax increases and spending cuts is likely to come down to negotiations between the White House and Senate, meaning McConnell will have a key role. A spokesman would not say whether the Kentucky senator has had any preliminary discussions with the White House.