December 2nd, 2012
11:25 AM ET
1 year 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. Matt

    Get ready to go over the cliff america.

    December 2, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  2. Corbin

    Saying you're going to close tax loopholes is just a given, it's not compromise, it's just doing your job. Obama is such a chessmaster compared to these tools. Obama has all the cards. He knows he can let us go over the fiscal cliff, let tax rates go up for everyone, and then propose tax rate reductions for the middle and lower classes, and the republicans will have to accept since they're for lower taxes, or show their hand as being a party that only represents the elitists. Tax rates are going up for the wealthy either way.

    December 2, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  3. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©™

    To Boehner, it's rational that Obama and other Democrats won the election on a clearly stated platform, but now Obama has to abandon his campaign promises because Boehner disagrees with the winner's platform.
    Boehner should pinch himself: it wasn't just a bad dream. Obama actually beat Romney.
    They aren't even counting the votes anymore.

    December 2, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  4. chupacabra

    Flabbergasted..................he will be more 'flabbergasted' in 2014 when the voting public performs genicide on the GOP.

    December 2, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  5. Nate

    The republicans may have lost the elections; but they cannot afford to roll over. If the WH won't deal they simply wait them out. It's just politics. Obama is not a king, just a president. He will learn the difference.

    December 2, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  6. Anonymous

    fuzzy math is all it is. money brought in by the 2% will run government a couple of days at most. Less spending is where the real saving needs to come from. Its not a Republican or Democrat issue

    December 2, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  7. John

    I totally support the Republican position. Reign in wasteful spending!

    December 2, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. gango

    Hmmm. Let's see. We're talking about legislation which is a congressional responsibility and not an executive one, but the Speaker needs someone to blame so he demands "leadership" from the President. The republican plan is (1) Not to tax millionaires and billionaires one red cent more while holding the middle class and their tax status hostage to this principle and (2) demanding deep cuts in spending from the democrats, but (3) not from the second biggest spending program in the budget–defense. I guess the army cannot have too many horses and bayonets. The GOP plan is also to paint the President as waging class warfare (when all he's doing is pointing out the unfairness of the tax code with it's many exemptions going to the very wealthy and written on their behalf.) Did I forget anything? Oh, yeah! Isolate those republicans who want to compromise and silence them.

    What price leadership.

    December 2, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  9. James

    Compromise. If we have increased taxes, there needs to be a serious decrease in spending. White House wants to delay the spending cuts talks until next year. I say they are all power hungry and deserve ZERO pay!

    December 2, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  10. Bob

    Of course he wants the millionaires to not pay more how else is he going to pay for his 400 dollar tan and haircuts. Bush screwed up everything he touched including giving millionaires MORE tax breaks. Simply go back to what they paid under Clinton and those before him.

    December 2, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. CJH

    Shocked! Shocked, I tell you. Frankly, Mr. Boehner needs to get over his fake outrage and start being a legitimate leader instead of a crybaby.

    December 2, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. Doug in PA

    Nice to see CNN has all these anti-GOP comments posted as soon as this article is posted to give the impression that the general public is against Mr. Boehner. In reality some of us agree that reckless spending is out of control. Obama is a thug and has no concept of compromise. He basically stole the election by wild voter fraud. 99% of the vote in some districts. Not even third world countries who are run by dictators who will shoot you if you don't vote for them get that kid of margin.

    Wake up, Sheep!

    December 2, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  13. Jerubbaal

    What exactly was Boehner's revenue offer? Oh that's right, no tax hike for the top 2 percent because that would hurt the job creators – and how many jobs has the Bush tax cuts created? Weren't we hemorraging 800,000 jobs/month when the POTUS assumed control of the WH. He states that there is a spending problem but never blames the GOP for spending like a drunken sailor on shore leave and destroying the Clinton surplus while they were in control. The GOP is a sick joke on America trying to maintain an America that no longer exists. The status quo has changed, scary isn't it? When you see the face of the POTUS and it doesn't look like yours. Get used to it, the dynamics of the population is changing, you will need to be more inclusive in your views, no more catering to the rich, we all have a skin in this game whether we make 20,000/year or 20,000,000/year.

    December 2, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  14. Zeke

    The democrats don't have a plan to reduce the debt other than raising taxes and cutting medicare which is only a drop in the bucket compared to yearly trillion dollar plus defecits. The raising of taxes won't even get us below the trillion dollar mark. The WH offered to cut half the spending for afghanistan and iraq when those wars wind down, only half. The democrat controlled congress doesn't even care to speak to the WH about that plan because it is just plain rediculous. obama is on the road for that very reason. We have to trim the fat if we are going to do anything about the defecits. Congress and the WH are playing politics in order to get the house to agree to raise taxes in hopes to alienate the republican base. They have put the 2014 elections ahead of our future

    December 2, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  15. Joe

    During these Holidays there are a lot of old movies being rebroadcast on TV. The America that shines through in these old movies is astounding. Movies such as Mr. Smith goes to Washington is a story of a small town man who gets elected and goes to Washington. He has all his ideals in place and when he sees what Congress is doing to the American people he gets furious and filabusters the Congress until it stops it's reptilian ways. An innocent America. An America that fought for the under dog. Casa Blanca is another great movie that depicts the same values. When did America lose it's way? When we allowed Big Business to take over and replace the Constitution with Big Money. Let's go back to the what America stands for "One Nation under God ..."With Liberty and Justice FOR ALL!"

    December 2, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  16. sjlucas

    When Speaker Boehner says "we're nowhere", that is because he and the GOP have no specific proposals. The White House has presented this option to start the debate. They are using a new approach to the GOP to say "if you don't like this ... tell us (and be specific) what you would like." If the GOP just can't continue to be the party of NO. They have to put up or shut up. That's called leadership.

    December 2, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  17. wow

    Where is the website that tells every details? There are much more that we don't know. Geither has docs in details tha might not be in to the public. The details are pretty much in final, not draft. Americans need that comprehensive final details. No one has come forward yet. Past docs are not the decree.

    December 2, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  18. rla

    Go over the cliiff !!! This bunch of foolish and deceitful democrtats have convinced their minority base and the progressive ideologues that destroying the country in efforts to follow ideology or greed on the lower end of the economic scale is acceptable.. Sorry your whole presidency is one of lies by a man not informed enough to make the kind of decisions you are making. You no longer represent America only your political power base- VERY SAD!

    December 2, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  19. Barack

    The Speaker of the House is correct. Compromise is needed. I may have won but the House is controlled by Republicans. That must mean something.

    December 2, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  20. davew

    Get over it Boehner. This is what the American people voted for when they re-elected Obama. You're acting like a spoiled child.

    December 2, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. Kevin

    Boehner has to make it look like he's a tough negotiator to make sure the 2% ers think he deserves their donations. He'll cave with lots of dramatics as the deadline approaches.

    December 2, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  22. Sashatree

    @Getoverit - Wow....you obviously haven't been watching the news for the past 4 years, have you? The President and the Dems have been bending over BACKWARDS making concession after concession (do you even realize that 80% of Obamacare WAS WRITTEN BY REPUBLICANS AT THEIR DEMAND?!?!?!) There is no arguing the fact that the GOP are the ones responsible for ALL the dysfunction in DC. Wake up!! Turn of Faux News!!!

    December 2, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  23. Sean

    The Republicans have an odd sense of entitlement going on here. They're losing ground in the House and Senate, failed to take the presidency and yet they think that giving an inch when the Dems are giving a foot makes them the good guys.

    Save as much face as you can, but it's time to give up some of your positions to fit the popular opinion in the country GOP.

    December 2, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  24. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Aw, Yes,
    All together now. Let's Tax the Job Creators out of existance. We all want somebody else to pay for our gravy. Why should we pay our way. Oh wait. Where the jobs? Why are there no jobs. How can we Tax the Rich if there are no jobs?? What! They moved to China? Waahaa.Beggers can't be choosers.

    December 2, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  25. Deborah

    Fine, taxes go up on the rich, but Obama's proposal gives him the power to raise the debt ceiling whenever he wants. Do you really want that? Yes – Obama won, but the popular vote was close. The proposal should HAVE IMPUT BY BOTH PATIES. When I last checked this was still America run by a democracy not a KING.

    December 2, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
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