House GOP leaders prepare for fiscal cliff talks
November 14th, 2012
07:45 PM ET
2 years ago

House GOP leaders prepare for fiscal cliff talks

Washington (CNN) - House Speaker John Boehner Wednesday stuck to his post-election tone of saying he wants to come to agreement with President Obama to avert the fiscal cliff, and he moved to set up a team of House Republicans to help negotiate the details.

"If you've looked closely at what the president had to say and looked closely at what I've had to say, there are no barriers here to sitting down and beginning to work through this process," Boehner told reporters at a press conference on Capitol Hill after House GOP members re-nominated him to his position for the next Congress.

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Boehner added, "I don't think anyone on either side of the aisle underestimates the difficulty that faces us but I do think that the spirit of cooperation that you've seen over the last week, from myself and my team, from Democrats across the aisle, from the President, have created an atmosphere where I think that I'll remain optimistic."

But as he's done every time he's publicly addressed the issue, the Speaker restated his opposition to allowing any of the current tax rates to go up. "There are ways to put revenue on the table without increasing tax rates. We've talked about this now for over a year."

Rep Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, the number two House Republican, echoed the dual message of reaching out, but drawing the line on taxes.

"We say to this president we want to work with you on solutions. We don't understand why raising tax rates is the solution if you want to see people get back to work," Cantor said.

Reporters pressed for greater detail about how much revenue could be raised through closing loopholes, but Boehner said discussing any specifics would "not be conducive to trying to come to an agreement with the White House."

Boehner established a group of key Republicans to help prepare for negotiations with the White House and congressional Democrats.

He tapped former GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, who chairs the House Budget Committee, and two other committee chairmen - Rep. Dave Camp, who heads the tax writing committee, and Rep. Fred Upton, who chairs the panel overseeing major entitlement programs - to help top leaders weigh various proposals.

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel explained these three will join Boehner and the other top House GOP leaders in their regular leadership sessions.

"In preparation for the fiscal cliff talks, the speaker has added Ryan, Upton and Camp to the daily management meetings, in addition to the 'Big Four' that have always been included," Steel said.

House conservatives have indicated that they want Ryan to play a major role in the upcoming negotiations.

Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, who heads a group of fiscal conservatives in the House, said of Ryan on Wednesday, "I hope he's front and center in this debate."

Previewing the fierce fight ahead on the issue of taxes, House conservatives pushed back at Democrats who argue that President Obama's re-election was a vote in support of making wealthier Americans pay higher taxes.

"He has a mandate to talk about it and we have a mandate to fight it," Idaho Republican Raul Labrador said of the President. "I think that's what the American people elected us to do, and we will continue to fight any member of our conference that decides that this is a good time to raise taxes."


Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • John Boehner
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. plain&simple

    Since when has a member of the house ran a national election? The house members have been elected to get a job done....so close the pie hole and start working on resolution. Let the speaker do the talking in public and you fall inline with your speaker.

    November 14, 2012 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  2. MarketandPoliticsMonitor

    "There are ways to put revenue on the table without increasing tax rates. We've talked about this now for over a year."

    Yes, of course, Wall St. subtracted over a trillion dollars a few months ago, and then Wall St. had to come back again this year, and since October 5th of this year, Wall St. has continued the subtraction of another 1.4 trillion since October 5th for a total of about 2.5 trillion dollars. Thus Boehner's statement that there are ways to put revenues on the table without increasing tax rates, i.e., not taxing the very well off!

    November 14, 2012 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  3. J'Cincinnati'Redd

    Everyone in america is linked economically.our annual budget deficits and our national debt weaken the very foundation of our national economy.if obama and the house congr can address the critical spending and debt problems,we might have chance to avoid self-Destruction as a world power.to many people instead of looking for ways to help this country prosper,we look to prosper from goverment help.I know plenty of dems that do this,but also guilty are parasitic lobbyists, who poison the political process, are the most blatant of those in line for handouts.these white-Collar parasites suck the blood out of the institutions and values that hold the democratic system together.

    November 14, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  4. Name

    On fiscal matters, Obama did not go so far as to claim a strong mandate to push through everything he wanted.

    Understatement of the Year ~

    November 14, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  5. wakeupamerica

    I am waiting to see if the GOP will be bipartisan on fiscal cliff. Out of the gate we already see Senators McCain and Graham being there usual selves re: Susan Rice. So much for civility and respectful discourse. It is in their (GOP) to fight with negativity instead of class and normal discussion.

    November 14, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  6. skarphace

    Boehner and Cantor don't sound so tough now that they are bargaining from a weak position and Obama from a strong position. Do nothing and they will get an even worse bargain as the Bush tax cuts expire and the cuts to defense spending goes into place. Therefore, Republicans need to compromise, which makes a 'grand bargain' very possible.

    I fully expect that this will be a very hard year on the 'Norquist' crowd. They either go back on their pledge or they continue to be obstructionists while taking the chance that the Bush tax cuts expire and they are seen as the reason for such. That has to be about as hard a choice as white evangelicals choosing between a Mormon and a minority for POTUS.

    November 14, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  7. Larry L

    The GOP is in no position for the hostage-taking of the previous debt crisis. Americans have no patience for the lap dogs for the rich anymore. Fox News doesn't think for real Americans. Boned better produce a bill ready for signature insuring that tax rates for those making less than 250k go unchanged. They can work out the details for the fat cats following that critical bill – already signed by the Senate.

    November 14, 2012 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  8. J'Cincinnati'Redd

    I have concluded that most of the poor and working class have been enslaved,manipulated by an entrenched liberal leadership.often,the working class have it within their power to determin their own destiny and to become economically empowerd,but they often walk away from the opportunity and fall victim to the entitelment mentality.

    November 14, 2012 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  9. Ed FL

    Why should the American population expect anything out of Speaker BOEHNER,He hasn't accomplished anything in his first two years. This guy is the absolute worst Speaker ever to hold that position and he proved it with his past accomplishments.

    November 14, 2012 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  10. GonzoinHouston

    He's drawing the line on the one single thing that he needs to compromise on. Sigh, I guess those T-P's are still threatening to back Cantor for Speaker.

    What could be hilarious is when the Bush cuts expire; the Dems will want to restore them for 98% of the population, and the GOP will deny a tax cut to 98% to protect the cuts for the top 2%.

    November 14, 2012 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  11. Sheon1

    So the lies of the repulsion start!

    November 14, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  12. Alfred E. Neuman

    Tell Boehner we're not interested in negotiating with him. If we drop over the fiscal cliff it will be the Republicans who will be blamed. Romney lost – taxes are going up on the 1% so get used to it.

    November 14, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  13. McFarlane

    Open note to republicans.we the minorities are no longer barefooted , ignorant and hungry.we are educated. ,smart,accomplished nurse,teachers,lawyers,doctors,plumbers,,pilots,CEOs ecters.we will never vote for you racist folks

    November 14, 2012 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  14. Dan5404

    Same old GOP arguments that helped them lose the election...no taxes on rich people, and don't tell if you're against closing the big loopholes for rich people.

    November 14, 2012 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  15. MarieMD

    Oh goodie, bo ner and his haters are going to try not to blackmail and extort the country again.
    The guy from KY (can't continue to insult turtles) needs to be taken out and sent home. The same with cantor, and the lyan pie plate face boy and those who continue to think that the Democrats were the ones who stole the election.
    These cretins still don't get it and they never will!!

    November 14, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  16. artraveler

    Yes, smart guys in the House. Continue to screw around until the US bond rating gets reduced again and you can go home and tell your constituents that while you didn't raise the tax rates on their rich nedighbors, their own house notes with ARMs will be going up significantly because we House members know you want us to protect those who make 100 times what you make and are willing to pay more out of your household monies. Great bargaining position! I certainly would want you back again.

    November 14, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  17. jules

    What is the problem! Everyone should pay their share of taxes. Gee I'm living on $13000 year. Please how much does anyone need?

    November 14, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  18. Squigman

    This clown better come to the party, and this time be prepared to negotiate. The facts are plain. Congress and the republican majority therein, are setting at an approval rating that could stand flat footed and look a skunk in the eye. The people deserve, and demand better from elected officials. If this party gets panned by the republicans, the people will hold them responsible next mid term. It won't be pretty.

    November 14, 2012 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  19. The Great Divider

    The stock market LOVES Obama's reelection and it CLEARLY shows. (Sarcasm off).

    November 14, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  20. FactCheck

    Forget it... no deal. Let the Bush tax cuts expire. Period.

    November 14, 2012 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  21. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    To ignore taxes (raising rates) is just showing that they are under the control of Grover Norquist. I think that ignoring the revenue side of the ledger shows that they don't understand or unwilling to look at the whole picture. If they do that, then there is little chance of getting a real effective deal.

    November 14, 2012 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  22. honest marie

    House Republicans let go of your hold on America and her economy. Work with the President for the sake of America and Americans.

    November 14, 2012 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  23. 4 trillion

    The maximum federal income tax rate has gone down 284% over the last 60 years
    .................91% in 1955
    .................75% in 1965
    .................50% in 1985
    ................39.6% in1995
    ................35% in 2005
    ...............10 million exemption on estate taxes, eliminate alternative minimum tax in 2010
    THe riich have had their way for 60 years while the middle class has received crumbs and leftovers.

    November 14, 2012 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  24. Thomas

    He's still around ?

    November 14, 2012 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  25. mb

    Yep, the GOP is still going to play their same games.

    November 15, 2012 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
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