December 2nd, 2012
11:25 AM ET
2 years ago

Boehner ‘flabbergasted’ at fiscal cliff proposal

(CNN) - House Speaker John Boehner painted a bleak picture Sunday when talking about fiscal cliff negotiations between the White House and Republicans.

"Right now I would say we're nowhere. Period. We're nowhere. We've put a serious offer on the table by putting revenues up there to try to get this question resolved, but the White House has responded with virtually nothing," Boehner said on "Fox News Sunday."

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Boehner said the reason negotiations are going so poorly is that Obama administration officials - in particular, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner - aren't taking Republicans seriously. Boehner said he was shocked at Geithner's proposal to Republicans last week.

"I was flabbergasted. I looked at him and I said, 'You can't be serious.' I've just never seen anything like it," Boehner said.

Geithner has said his plan included cuts to Medicare and additional stimulus spending, but also an expiration of Bush-era tax cuts to those making over $250,000 a year. Furthermore, the proposal included the closing of some loopholes and new limits on deductions, as well as an increase in the estate tax rate and taxes on capital gains and dividends.

Boehner acknowledged that President Barack Obama won the election on a platform that in part was based on increasing taxes for those making over $250,000. This is a major sticking point in negotiations, and Boehner said the president must compromise with the GOP.

"They won the election, (but) they must have forgotten that Republicans continue to hold the majority in the House. But the president's idea of a negotiation is, 'Roll over and do what I ask,'" Boehner said.

While Boehner admitted that going over the fiscal cliff would be detrimental to the economy, he said out-of-control spending is mortgaging the future of the next generation and must be reined in. Accordingly, the speaker said going over that cliff is a distinct possibility.

"I'm determined to solve our debt problem. We have a serious debt problem and it is going to be dealt with," Boehner said.


Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • John Boehner • President Obama
soundoff (905 Responses)
  1. jrumor

    where were all these deficit hawks when the taxes were cut in 2001 or 2003, or the invasions of afghanistan and iraq???

    in 2000, we were supposed to have the debt paid off in 10 years... that was the time for a balanced budget amendment.

    December 3, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  2. tenorbear

    Mr. Boehner and this whole Republican Congress are taking a very big risk with this country's future. From all accounts, if we are allowed to go off the "fiscal cliff" it will mean higher taxes for the middle class, cuts in programs such as unemployment insurance, all the while protecting Mr. Boehner's friends and campaign donors. I don't know the answer to the financial problem, but I do no it isn't that. I think perhaps the Tea Party and it's minions need to see just how many people will march on DC and the Congress in opposition to all this. I think the numbers will far outpace those marchers. And instead of pictures of the president made to look like Hitler (not only insulting but treasonous), there will be pictures of Boehner and McConnell dressed to look like lemmings following the head lemming Norquist off the cliff. I think it's time to organize such a march. I don't know who would do it, or would spearhead the organization, but if there is such a thing, I will certainly be there.

    December 3, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  3. charles bowen

    Boehner stalls while America Falls...Republican leader not..... Rich Republicans Rape the Economy......Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    December 3, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  4. Sniffit

    "Raising revenue doesn't help at all."

    What don't you understand about it being absolutely, inarguably necessary to both raise revenue AND make cuts in this situation? This problem all started when we massively decreased revenue via the Bush tax cuts. Claiming that it's only a "spending problem," is just plain dishonest.

    December 3, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  5. Luke Brown

    Boenher has no intention of making doing anything but wrecking the country and trying to blame it on the President.

    It's called sour grapes. Mr. Speaker, try to get away from your mean and petty politics for once and do something that actually helps working people in this country.

    December 3, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
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