PARKERSBURG - Republican congressmen from West Virginia said Friday they supported the "Plan B" budget proposal that died Thursday in the House of Representatives.
"Reluctantly, I was going to support it," Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., said speaking to reporters by telephone conference call from Washington, D.C.
Across-the-board tax increases and spending cuts will go into effect on Jan. 1 if Congress fails to reach an agreement on spending and on the Bush-era tax cuts, the fiscal cliff. Tax burdens for the average West Virginian would increase around $2,000, according to the Heritage Foundation.
A vote on the Republican-favored Plan B was expected; however, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, called party members together and said there were not enough Republican votes to pass the legislation, so no vote would be taken.
Plan B called for $1 trillion in revenue and $1 trillion in cuts and continues the current estate and alternative minimum taxes. President Obama's proposal was $1.2 trillion in revenue and $800 billion in cuts.
A sticking point is the president and Democrats want the tax rates for middle-class Americans to remain while increasing on income earned after the first $250,000 a year. Plan B would raise the tax rates for those making more than $1 million a year.
The country doesn't have a taxing problem, it has a spending problem, McKinley said.
"I know that's a cliche," he said.
A faction of the Republican membership didn't trust the president to make the reductions after receiving the revenue increases, McKinley said. They would not support it, he said.
"They wanted to see the cuts," McKinley said. "They don't trust the president."
A $1 million threshold protects most Americans and small businessmen - 99.8 percent - from tax increases, the 1st District representative said. Republicans were acting according to a letter from former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi which cites the $1 million threshold, McKinley said.
"We must ask the very wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share," Pelosi, D-Calif., wrote in a letter to Boehner in May. "Democrats believe that tax cuts for those earning over a million dollars a year should expire and that we should use the resulting revenues to pay down the deficit."
It's now up to the Senate and Senate President Harry Reid, D-Nev., to come up with a proposal, McKinley said. McKinley several times during the press conference blamed the Senate and its inaction for why there is no resolution.
"Now he's going to be engaged," he said.
Spending bills sent to the Senate from the House have sat there without action, McKinley said.
Boehner's Plan B would have no chance in the Democratic-controlled Senate, Reid has said. McKinley's comments about the Senate and Reid parallel what Boehner also said Friday, that it now was up to Obama and Reid to come up with a plan to be considered in the House.
A spokesman for Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., referred questions to a CNBC interview on Friday morning.
Capito would have supported Plan B and said the bill should have been voted on Thursday night.
"I was disappointed, quite frankly," she said.