November 10th, 2012
06:00 AM ET
1 year ago

Obama, Boehner stand ground on fiscal cliff

(CNN) - Washington’s top Republican and Democrat minded their positions on Saturday ahead of plans for the two to meet face-to-face in an effort to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.

President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner summarized in their weekly addresses the positions each had laid out earlier in the week in separate post-election remarks.

“The message you sent was clear: you voted for action, not politics as usual,” Obama said in his weekly address.

Boehner said, “If there was a mandate in this election, it was a mandate to work together to do what’s in the best interest of our country. And right now, what’s best is getting our economy moving again and keeping it moving, so we can begin to restore our children’s future”

Both men laid out their positions on Friday, Obama from the White House and Boehner at a Capitol Hill news conference. Later in the day, a Democratic aide said Obama had invited Boehner and other top congressional leaders to the White House next week to begin negotiating in person.

The primary sticking points to resolving the fiscal cliff – a set of tax increases and spending cuts which economists predict would drop the U.S. economy back into recession – are differences over for whom to extend the Bush-era tax breaks and how to reform expensive entitlement programs.

Boehner and Republicans favor extending the Bush tax cuts on all income, while Obama supports the extension on income under $250,000 and supports letting rates rise on income above that level.

“If we’re serious about reducing the deficit, we have to combine spending cuts with revenue, and that means asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more in taxes,” Obama said.

That would mean “accepting the damage it will do to our economy,” Boehner said, expressing his support for "tax reform that closes special interest loopholes and lowers tax rates."

Lower tax rates and fewer loopholes would bring economic growth and a resulting increase in federal revenues, Boehner said.

After months of partisan mudslinging leading up to the election, this week's preludes to negotiations were notably tame and civil.

Boehner held a news conference on Friday where he declined to wade too deep into specifics, saying it could restrict his options at the negotiating table.

Obama will hold his first news conference since the summer this coming week, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Friday.


Filed under: John Boehner • President Obama
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. m waugh

    maybe part of the negotiations should include replacing back to medicare the $7+ billion ripped off and put into Obamacare ; less docs will be taking medicare patients now and older people will be paying more (on medicare)

    November 10, 2012 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  2. GI Joe

    Hey, I voted Obama, but I secretly wanted Romney because my in-laws are wealthy small business owners and they needed more welfare for the wealthy so they can leave us more of an inheritance. You know, free money for them, and then we get the money free too. ha ha ha ha ha

    November 10, 2012 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  3. Derek

    Republican`s are worried sick that they will be on food stamps come 2014. And rightfully so.. House Republican`s have done NOTHING to improve America.

    Good BYE!!

    November 10, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  4. jw

    The Presidents position was very clear and that is one of the reasons he won relection.

    November 10, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  5. paul porter

    The suckers and the takers won. obama continues the lies.
    Soak the rich. News flash: if you take every cent from every millionaire and billionaire, every last penny, you come up with @$3.7 trillion dollars. Vastly short of the $17 trillion dollar debt. If you took all the cash, everything from all these rich,
    you'd still be in suicidal debt, with another $2.8 trillion on the way for another raise in the debt ceiling. obama borrows $.40 cent of every dollar he spends. IT WILL IMPLODE. and the rich will never solve his problem. THE ONLY ANSWER IS TO CUT SPENDING but obama won't. why? the suckers and the users and those that sympathize with them want the party to continue, at others expense of course. But the party WILL end and it WILL be ugly.

    November 10, 2012 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  6. Darren

    I pray to god that both sides in US politics gets it act together for the American people & all the people in the world. Because if the US economy collapses then the world economy will follow sending my nations relative sound economy down the toilet as well.

    Here's hoping Uncle Sam gets back up on his feet soin because we Australians are getting concerned. When Black Tuesday hit in 1929 & US crashed into the great depression the worst affected nation in the western world with highest poverty and unemployment was Australia. When Uncle Sam sneezes the world gets the flu.

    Lets hoping Republicans & Democrats turn the worlds most powerful economy around. We all benefit.

    November 10, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  7. Commensense

    It is obvious Boehner does not hear very well! Oh, he makes it looks like he is willing to work with the President, but he is not willing to increase taxes on the wealthiest, there is no reason the wealthier can't pay their fair share! Boehner in my opinion needs to go, he & Romney are two peas in a pod. Stand your ground Mr. President, if people want to call you a bully, that is their opinion, but the majority of WE THE PEOPLE appreciate you standing up for "Fairness For All". The 1's that don't want to work for solutions, better remember, there will be another election!

    November 10, 2012 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  8. Name

    Boehner, start listening to the people and not Grover Norquist. The wealthy currently have the lowest tax rates they have ever had, the CBO released a report stating that raising taxes on the wealthy WILL ONLY BENEFIT THE ECONOMY.

    November 10, 2012 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  9. onlyfacts

    Roundup 20 top economists, put them in a room, let them hash it out, with cameras rolling so we all can see and hear. Both parties agree, they will go with the experts recommendations. Politics out reality in. Next, we push for congressional pay to be a percentage of the GDP. If the country is doing bad our congressman should suffer. Maybe that will motivate the idiots to do what's best for the country.

    November 10, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  10. The fact is

    Boehner is not a president. Why we have to listen to him?

    November 10, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  11. Wire Palladin, S. F

    Hey Boeher! You and your ilk lost. 66% of Americans want the tax cuts for those making over $250,000 to expire. Did you sleep through the election?

    November 10, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  12. Eli

    Boehner's face has become the symbol of GOP Obstructionism.

    November 10, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  13. ksboston

    Boehner made it clear that the only revenue increases he is open to are those generated by 'growth in the economy' which is supposed to come from new tax policies. This is the same horsecr*p we were told by Reagan, Bush2, and more recently, Romney. Just because cutting tax rates from 90% down to 70% did good things for the economy once, it does NOT mean that cutting them from 35% to 25% will do the same. The Laffer curve is just that: a curve. That means the effects Republican's tout reverse at some point. Boehner just spouts more4 conservative snake oil.

    November 10, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  14. Qev

    That's right Boehner, you and your Party just keep sticking to the DO NOTHING/OBSTRUCTIONISTS course...and will make SURE that you all have got nothing more to do (with the United States Congress) come mid-term elections.

    November 10, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  15. seve

    At the end of the day, this is a battle over pennies. The wealthiest are not going to make a dent in the deficit. Wealthy people are wealthy because we are smart and will find a way around any tax hike – legally. It will stiffle cash flow, but not net worth. It will hurt the middle class because companies will retract from investing and growing. Obama policies are feel good policies and at the end of the day between Obamacare and tax policy, Obama may get the economy going again, but it will be at the expense of the middle class. I lose sleep because it my job to help our middle class employees and this will only make it more difficult.

    November 10, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  16. Let it Go

    Let it go Boehner!!! This is a no win position for the Repubs.. There are too many free is for me folks in this country and they see this as the Repubs protecting the rich. Let Dems own the tax increase on the wealthy and when small companies let employees go, the Dems will own the consequences of the tax increase!!

    November 10, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  17. Darryl

    If John Boehner does not get his party to accept the face that Taxes need to be raised he too will lose his job as Speaker of the House. The POTUS is by the VOTE of the people, by the people & for the people have spoken and it's final. Eighter he and his obstructionest party who have done nothing for this country but stop the people from work, progress ect accept the fact of this election a loss then and only then will he stay as speaker period.

    November 10, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  18. CBP

    Speaker Boehner does not seem to realize that the country needs to see that those who make the most are committed enough to this country that they will pay a little more to keep this democracy going. The 1% or 2% have the money to open off-shore accounts and Swiss bank accounts. Their own candidate had them. Well, instead of opening these accounts they could give a little more to get this country moving once again. Many eyes will be watching to see if Congress will make a bold move. If not, then the ratings Congress receives will plummet again.

    November 10, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  19. Larry in Houston

    isn't this pathetic ? In my honest opinion, I believe they are going to do this thing in a 2 step way – probably place a "band-aid" on this whole mess. I just hope obama doesn't cave in – but, oh well, if I were to make a gamble – I would say that it will be politics as usual. Since Obama Has the Advantage of the "bully pulpit" ( so to speak ) he will reveal to the american voters why Boehner doesn't want to compromise. If Obama continues to do this, and when America sees this, IF they think the voters will Vote The GOP back in, as a majority in Congress, ( when 2014 mid-terms rolls around ) they've got another thing coming.

    November 10, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  20. Debbie from Arizona

    It seems that the Republicans learned nothing from this election. Same old talking points, same old lines. I really hope that President Obama sticks to his guns this time. Compromise is a good thing, but not when the other partys' idea of compromise is still, my way or the highway.

    November 10, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  21. ronb

    I'm perfectly fine paying a higher tax rate for a couple of months (or two years) if that's what it takes to get the moochers at the top of the income scale to pay their fair share! So, go ahead, Mr. President. Let John Boehner walk the GOP right off that cliff!!! I can wait two years to get rid of that obstructionist. He's going to find out what the American people voted for. Hint: the American people he talks about lost the election!!!

    November 10, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  22. judy

    Boehner is a fool and we need to get rid of the big baby. He and his party still don't get it. Time to make phone calls and bombbard them with letters. Forward. The American people have spoken

    November 10, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  23. BillSD33

    While some see the end of the Bush cuts as an increase, I see it as an end to the tax BREAK. Anyone with $500k of income has been able to keep an extra $23,000 per year. Those making $150k were keeping $4,500. Those making $1M kept $46,000 per year. So anyone making $1M a year kept an additional half a million dollars over the life of the tax break.

    It is time to end the break!

    November 10, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  24. Canuck

    The Republicans lost the election, for how long is Boehner planning on protecting his wealthy friends rather than trying to get America back on its feet I wonder. The man disgusts me

    November 10, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  25. Ray E. (Georgia)

    So what did we elect? A dictator? Yes my Furher, yes my Furher. So what should we do? I say give the boy everything he wants and see if it will pass muster with the people. Didn't he present a budget before and it was voted down 535 to 0. I see a lot of business are reducing the work hours because of Obama Care. You can dance around it all you want to, but Obama Care is the 800 pound Gorillia in the room. Lots of problems and nobody in the driver's seat.

    November 10, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
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