Washington (CNN) – House Speaker John Boehner said he's "not confident at all" that Congress can reach a budget deal to avert the so-called "fiscal cliff" at the end of this year.
On Tuesday morning Moody's, a credit rating agency, released a report threatening to lower the U.S. government's AAA credit rating if Congress didn't agree to a major deficit reduction package. Asked by CNN how confident he was that congressional negotiators could avoid that action Boehner replied, "I'm not confident at all."
– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.
The fiscal cliff is the combination of the automatic cuts to federal programs scheduled to go into effect in January and the tax increases that would result from expiration of all of the "Bush era" tax cuts at the end of this year.
The speaker maintained that House Republicans already passed legislation to replace those spending cuts and extend all the current tax rates.
"Listen the House has done its job on both the sequester and the looming tax hikes that will cost our economy some 700,000 jobs," Boehner said, and shifted the blame to Democrats, adding, "The Senate at some point has to act. And on both of these – where is the President? Where's the leadership? Absent without leading."
Although Moody's report specified it would consider cutting the government's rating if an agreement didn't emerge in the next year, an aide to Boehner told CNN that the speaker's comments reflected his confidence level about reaching a deal by the end of 2012. Without any serious bipartisan negotiations taking place, both parties are expected to return to the issue in the lame duck session of Congress in mid-November.
House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, said there were some discussions going on now, but conceded "there has not been a great deal of movement' on any potential budget deal.
But Hoyer was more upbeat about a deal emerging - after the election.
"I am optimistic that once this election is over that the patriotism of members – Republicans and Democrats – will come and summon them to coming to an agreement on the most important question confronting this nation and that is putting this nation on a more fiscally sustainable credible path."
Even after Congress reached a deal in the summer of 2011 to raise the debt limit and agreed to a series of spending cuts, Standard & Poor's, one of Moody's rival credit rating agencies, downgraded for the first time the U.S. credit rating.
As part of the automatic cuts, the military would especially be hit hard–-a measure both parties say they want to prevent. A spokeswoman for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign said the president "agrees that we should avoid the automatic defense cuts."
"That's why he has called on Congressional Republicans to help prevent them with a balanced plan that asks millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share," Lis Smith said in a statement.
The president's plan has some support in the Democratic-controlled Senate. Responding to Boehner's comments, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he was "disappointed."
"I think we have to look at the glass being half-full, not half-empty all the time. I'm confident we will reach some kind of an arrangement," Reid told reporters on Capitol Hill. "We will continue with the middle class tax cut that the Senate passed. It's much, much too early to give up."
Asked what made him so optimistic about a deal, Reid pointed to what he sees as dwindling momentum for the tea party.
"I've been here for a while, and I believe once the elections are over, the tea party strength will be significantly weakened," he said.
On her part, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released a statement, calling on Boehner to keep the chamber in session until they solve the problem.
"Democrats are committed to staying in session as long as it takes to ensure certainty for the middle class and growth for the economy," she said. "The ball is in Speaker Boehner's court."
– CNN Political Producer Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.
HOW ANTI AMERICAN CAN YOU GET??
with friends like that who needs enemies
KICk ALL GOP out fo congress NOW
Canada will not allow them to cross the border as they are UN AMERICAN
It's simple, BoneHead. You walk across the aisle and get some Dems to vote with you on a reasonable plan, instead of selling out America to the teabaggers.
That's the way Congress is supposed to work. Even newt learned to compromise, after a few embarrassing attempts to get it all his way..
10 percent approval.....enough said
No budget from the Senate 4 yrs and counting.
Harry Reid is the WORSE MAJORITY LEADER EVER! Google it!!
It is obvious that the baggers are more interested in party than country.
The only way out of this mess is a straight ticket vote in November, be it democratic or Republican, this country cannot afford another 4 years of obstruction.
In case you Teatarded morons didn't read my post from earlier, here it is again:
STAHL: But governing means compromising.
BOEHNER: It means working together.
STAHL: It also means compromising.
BOEHNER: It means finding common ground.
STAHL: Okay, is that compromising?
BOEHNER: I made it clear I am not going to compromise on my principles, nor am I going to compromise the will of the American people.
MITT ROBME DRAFT DODGING, TAX EVADING POS
This is the same idiot who dodged the draft and went biking and wind surfing as a mormon baptist in FRANCE, abandoing the US and our troops who are fighting & dying to defend the United States in Vietnam!!!
I guess you conveniently forgot that President Clinton got out of Vietnam, the Senator he worked for got Clinton off with the agreement he would serve in the ROTC but Clinton never served in the ROTC.
This guy has to go..come on Ohio get this guy out of the picture. Sure the House passed a bill filled with their ideas and wishes without cooperation in crafting the bill. It won't pass the Senate because they refused to cooperate and then they try to blame the problem on the Senate. Nice try couch face but you guys are the problem..and your little dog, Grover.
Boehner doesn't dare offend the TP's; hence there will be no compromise and no deal. Just as the TP's have "primaried" republicans who fail to meet their fanatical standards, Boehner knows they will support Cantor to unseat him as speaker. A minority wing of the majority party in one of three branches of the government will probably cause the Second Great Depression. The fate of the nation hangs on the Republican establishment taking on the Tea Party, and they don't have the guts to do it.
its a toss up on whos the bigger jerks !!! REPUBS=1 DUMBOCRAPS=1 yes an even toss up !!!!!
if the democrats won't cut spending them give the lefties what they want, a $1.3 trillion tax hike on the 50% that pay nothing in this country. time for these tax free loaders to belly up to the bar and start paying their fair share to live in this country. can't afford it? maybe you should head over to canada or cuba then. they love dead weight there.
"Here we go again – the GOP has absolutely no interest in doing what is best for the country."
How ironic that Mr. Mittens put on his ticket one of the main architects of HELL NO whose sole purpose for the past 4 years was to discredit Obama at every turn. Ryan actually has the audacity to still try and discredit Obama during his campaign stops. Shaking my head in disgust ... at Republicans certainly, and the media especially, for courting the Paul Ryans of Congress for Republican "insight and analysis" when all along, the media was hip deep in the muck being thrown at the middle class "survivors" of Republican greed.
How is that merlot bohner? cant get anything done can you...you should face the fact that you failed the american people and resign...you all should give your pay and pensions back to the american people...worthless gop!
Wow..not one post defending Boehner and his Nazi puppets..sig, Norquist!! Send as many of these losers home ASAP.
People are smarter than this now. Where is the president? I remember him knee deep in it during the last crisis Republicans almost put us in. Amazing what partisanship has done to us.
'Furious' Report Scorches Top ATF, Justice Officials for Ignoring Risks
EXCLUSIVE: Top officials in Eric Holder's Justice Department and ATF turned blind eye to public safety in carrying out ill-conceived — and deadly — 'Fast and Furious' gun-running sting, inspector general report concludes. CNN can't tell you the story because it proves Holder and Obama are criminals./
Return to the CLINTON ERA TAX RATES. How complicated is that ? Impossible if you've pledged allegiance to Grover Norquist instead of to your country.
Boehner should be fired!
Compromise is not a dirty word. Helping the poor is not reprehensible. Listening to opposing viewpoints is not selling out, and stonewalling is not standing on principle.
News for Mr. Boehner: The American people, whose will you say you respect, elected President Obama. You have walked all over that will by vilifying the president and obstructing each and everyone of his ideas and policy initiatives. You disrespected the will of the people while collecting hefty salary, and other benefits paid by the American taxpayer. What do you have to show for all that time and money wasted? In what alternative universe do you live to think you know what the American people think? You have shown no respect for the democraric process or the voters. What you call "principles" is really hatred and spite.
With our current President it most likely won't happen. He is more inflexible than the GOP and if recent negotiations are any indication he will pose and primp while Rome burns.
I wonder why Crybaby Johnny can't just act like a patriotic adult and NOT PERSONALLY CAUSE OUR DOWNGRADED CREDIT AGAIN!
Time to grow up John. The rest of us adults are ready to move forward.
Boehner can't even get his own side of the aisle together, let alone work with the other side to get anything done. This man is one of the least effective leaders in Congress that we've had. In terms of actual laws being passed, they're way behind average, and not close to what Pelosi could do. Simply put, Boehner is bad at his job
Vote the Tea Party and Norquist Loyalist OUT!
goes to show you that no president can deal with these idiots in congress