(CNN) – House Speaker John Boehner, talking about the prospect of negotiating with President Barack Obama on a deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, said in an interview Thursday that he is the "most reasonable, responsible person here in Washington" and that Obama knew he was ready to hash out a plan.
"Of course we'll talk about it. We talk about all kinds of things we may disagree on," Boehner said in the interview with ABC News.
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Congress faces an end-of-the-year deadline before massive spending cuts kick in and tax breaks begin to expire, including the Bush-era tax cuts at the end of December. The fiscal cliff also includes so-called sequestration - automatic across-the-board spending cuts set to trigger at the beginning of 2013 if Capitol Hill fails to create a deficit-reduction plan.
In his interview, Boehner echoed sentiments expressed Wednesday in a speech in Washington, in which he said higher tax rates would be unacceptable to Republicans who control the House.
"I've made it clear to the president, and I think I laid out yesterday - raising taxes on small business people is the wrong prescription, based on where the economy is," Boehner said Thursday.
"Frankly it couldn't even pass the House. I'm not sure it could pass the Senate."
The House speaker said he was glad to see Rep. Paul Ryan return to Congress, despite having lost his bid for vice president alongside Mitt Romney. But asked if Ryan was now the leader of the Republican Party, Boehner (who himself could be considered his party's leader) said the Wisconsin congressman was more focused on economic policy.
"I wouldn't think so," Boehner said. "Paul Ryan's a policy wonk. He's involved in the cause of trying to bring us pro-growth economic agendas for America and making sure that we're doing this in a fiscally responsible way."
Boehner said he had every reason to believe Ryan would return at chairman of the House Budget Committee.
I guess he's not going to qualify for the most humble person in Washington. As for reasonable and responsible, I think not.
The question is whether Speaker Boehner can deliver the votes needed in any deficit and budget compromise. He had a tough time controlling Tea Party extremists in the past.
And he's also the most modest? Please Boehner, spare us... Go accomplish something big with Obama before you start kissing your own butt too much.
Now it's time to insist the billionaires pay their fair share of taxes again.No compromise!
I was taking a sip of coffee when I read the headline and it sprayed all over my screen.
Yeah right!!! to bad we can't vote you out
"most reasonable, responsible person here in Washington" ..... ha!
Sure he is - after 3 scotch-rocks!
John Boehner / Johnnie Walker 2016!
Help us with these party politics on fiscal cliff.we are going to have our 401ks gutted again.help please----
We the People sent President Barack Obama back to The Whitehouse for 4 more years BECAUSE OBAMA is the most reasonable, responsible ADULT inside the Beltway of DC!
President OBAMA is the ONLY Grownup in our nation's capitol – not Boehner, nor any other!
Well it sure is nice to see that Boehner considers Obama to be "the most reasonable, responsible person here in Washington".
Reasonable? Who is he kidding?
Boehner says he's the 'most reasonable, responsible person' in Washington.
Translation: "I'm their best liar, throw the best tantrum, and can shed a tear on demand." - J.B.
LOLOLOLOLOLOL...Sure. Just do America a favor and follow the vote. Get to work. We want Obama's policies.
Boehner is right he is the most Responsible person in Washington DC . You know where he stands on every issue and that usually is opposite of everybody else In Washington.He knows where and how to put the screws to anything and everything HE THINKS IS OPPOSITE OF THE REST OF THE CONGRESS. The cigar smoking and supposed drinker has just seen how powerful and influential he is .The results of this past election just proves he is really the empty air bag that the country believe he is.There is more to the States than OHIO and look what an influence he was when he guaranteed OHIO was going to vote GOP.GOP GOOFY OLD POLITICIANS!
Do these guys realize they have lost this election ?
Is this man ever sober?
Boehner is an idiot. We need to cut spending AND raise taxes. Our current upper 35% bracket is the 2nd lowest it has ever been. The last time we had a balanced budget, that rate is 39.6%. During the "great" Reagan days that most Republicans think were some of the greatest? 70% in 1980, dropped to 69.125% in 1981, then was at 50% from 1982 – 1986.and 38.5 during the last year of his Presidency. What was it during the 50s? 90%. Vietnam era? 70%
Stop acting like a kid that goes home when we won't play only by your rules and act like the person you are supposed to be – A SERVANT to the AMERICAN people. You are OUR employee, not big business, the rich or whomever you prefer. If you cannot do what is best FOR ALL, then you should resign.
Become the Henry Clay of our generation and work on our nation's issues. If you do not, I will do EVERYTHING in my power to ensure you will not be in office in 2014.
An Ohio 8th District voter
When people believe themselves to be anything in a superlative sense, they are often wrong.
More Boehner rhetoric. How about some real, pragmatic compromise, John?
Ouch, just cracked a rib laughing at the Speaker.
Talk about an evil snake that promises not to bite.
Boehner needs some serious medical help. This man (along with McConnell and Cantor) was the face of obstruction for the last 4 years.
Boehners lying in his teeth,the top ranking speaker of the House that had a hand in the S&P down grade and endless others bills being obstructed says he's responsible,please check him for drugs or see if he's drunk because he not responsible or reasonable!!His motives have been obvious in the past two years with Mitch McConnell to make Pres.Obama a one termer but it backfired didn't it boys with as many as 8 of your tea baggers going down in flames and more in two years if you keep holding this country hostage !!Quit screwing around and get to work or get out of Washington because you work for that weasel Grover Norquists not us!!