The House speaker's reasoning was that the passage of Plan B and the spending bill would put the onus on Obama and Senate Democrats to accept them or offer a compromise.
For now, the Obama administration won't have to weigh in on the tax part of that scenario. As to the House-approved spending cuts bill, White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage dismissed the GOP alternative as "nothing more than a dangerous diversion" for eliminating federal funding by negatively impacting millions of seniors, disabled individuals and poor and at-risk children.
In a statement Thursday night, the White House didn't address Thursday's House proceedings but referenced its top priority -- ensuring that 98% of Americans don't see their taxes rise in January. The statement expressed confidence that there will be deal on the fiscal cliff but with no explanation of how, when or what such an agreement would look like.
"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," the White House said.