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Efforts to prevent a potential fiscal crisis in January were set back as House Republicans refused to support a compromise proposal by Speaker of the House John Boehner.
Boehner denied that the Republican revolt was personal, suggesting that many conservative members feared even more conservative primary challengers if they agreed to his plan, which would have slightly raised the tax bracket for the wealthiest Americans.
"They weren't taking it out on me," he said, reported CNN. "They were dealing with the perception that somebody might accuse them of raising taxes."
This setback may allow Barack Obama some more negotiating power as the deadline to find a solution approaches. If no compromise is reached, taxes will rise for everyone and the military and social programs will face deep cuts. Mr. Obama favors a deal that preserves tax cuts for all Americans except the wealthiest.
The White House press secretary, Jay Carney, said in a statement, “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,” according to the New York Times.