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. bobofmo

    congressman B.

    Do u think everyone is wrong but u? Give it up, ur an embarrissment to ur position, party & country.

    December 2, 2012 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  2. yankquest

    Get over it Boehner, President Obama won, and by over 3 million votes. His platform that he ran on is the way he needs to go. We tHe People don't care if you like it or not. You can leave when you want, but you'll be out in 2014 anyway....

    December 2, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  3. Jules

    I can't believe what I am reading in these comments. America is lost to a bunch of idiots. All of you who are blaming the GOP for this mess are what the rest of us call low-information voters. Pathetic.
    Do you really understand what your president has proposed? Do you really know what it all means? He has not presented an offer in good faith – he has presented an offer that says, "I won". This is who is running the country – a juvenile adolescent who claims he is keeping a naughty and nice list of members of Congress. Really? Grow up.

    December 2, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  4. Concerned citizen

    Perhaps you missed the second part of the sentence which stated: "The President's idea of negotiation is 'roll over and do what I say' ". I believe that statement implies that the Republican party is willing to work together to initiate a plan that can benefit ALL Americans better. It is tiresome to read so many ill conceived notions with blind allegiance to a particular political party and no thought behind them at all. Whether either side likes it or not the simple fact remains that there are two political parties and there will continue to be two parties even if they alter and change. Without both parties working together this problem will not be solved. Also perhaps you are uneducated about Boehner's past growing up working for his family at their small restaurant and then later owning a small business in the plastics industry. Boehner is responsible for things that have actually helped the American people such as the pension protection act.

    December 2, 2012 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  5. thefutureisDIM

    I thought obama was against how much bush increased our debt,,,,,,,,,,,with his spending we are all SUNK....

    December 2, 2012 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  6. just wondering

    Romney was clueless until after the election.... Boehner and his party of No will also receive a wake up call next election....The Party of No Has Got To Go

    December 2, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  7. Bill

    The reason Boehner is flabbergasted is that the GOP is used to being in control and the DEMS rolling over. Get used to it cause Obama's got 4 more years to go, and you'll be lucky to hold onto the House before its over.

    December 2, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  8. Dave Harris

    Boehner just doesn't get it. He's being set up by Obama, who appears to be a whole lot smarter than him. Or maybe he's just painted himself into a corner. He understands that he can't appear to cooperate with Obama in any way, who his followers consider to be a black-skinned demon from hell, But the more rational people, who are still a majority, will blame him and his party when their taxes go up. The next mid-term election is two years away, but Republicans are already trying to lose it.

    December 2, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  9. Rob

    I'm a conservative, voted conservative. However, if Boehner doesn't start playing ball and making some concessions he, along with more Republicans, will find themselves without jobs before long. The public (both sides of the aisle) is tiring of this nonstop silliness. Get to work, bend some, and move on and move on soon! We're sick of this!

    December 2, 2012 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  10. fernace

    I know there are other blogs where people call the President socialist, Marxist, dictator & worse! Where no1 thinks this President can do anything right! The thing is he, the Senate, Congress or any area of government are there because we voted for them, like voting for Highschool prom Queen & King! If We, the people, are not happy w/our reps, the people who represent our voice in government, then we have a Duty to vote in better people! The truth is that Barak Hussein Obama is a man for the people, 1of the few & we must support him! We have a chance to make our nation the 1 we think is so great & should be the blueptrint for others, then we have to put up or shut up! I'm an immigrant who loves America & knows it can be the country it promises to be! However, not through the Republican way!!

    December 2, 2012 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  11. userjan1

    What people don't realize, is that if we do go off the "fiscal cliff" , is that people will have less access to gov't services. The agency that i work for, that many people are now in need of, with people having no jobs or prospects, has cut it's labor force by over 10%, and they are not replacing workers. However, we have massive amounts of people outside our doors everyday, and in fact, guards keep people from coming in, because we are at maximum capacity. Our workload has increased massively, our leaders have maken pleas to Congress, and there have been unprecedented retirements in my agency. We also have had no raises for 3 years, if not longer. I am tempted every day to go on the dole....

    December 2, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  12. Flabbergasted

    Boehner, stop the posturing and silly rhetoric. Do the People's work, demonstrate that Republicans can compromise and do what is right for the Country. If you are incapable of doing so, then resign as Speaker.

    December 2, 2012 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  13. cicokid

    Here we go again with these kids! Grow up and give us (the 99%) to get back up on our feet!

    December 2, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  14. TJeff1776

    "Flabbergasted".........big joke and a put-on. Make a counter-proposal A.H.

    December 2, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  15. Randall "texrat" Arnold

    The delusion continues.

    December 2, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  16. Brenda S

    Seriously, I think the republican's really have no idea the hole they are digging for themselves. I still say all of us that didn't vote in 2010 have learned our lesson and we must come together and vote more of these do nothing congressmen out in 2014. Surely we can find 17 more seats somewhere in the house the next go around.

    December 2, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  17. GeneK

    The cliff is looking better and better every day.

    December 2, 2012 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  18. How taxes work

    It seems to be forgotten that the extra tax only applies to adjusted gross income ABOVE 250,000. So, if you have AGI of $250,001, you only pay the higher tax rate on that one dollar.

    December 2, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  19. Indeigrl

    It's time to jump over the cliff. $3 in tax increase to a measly $1 in spending cuts is not the balanced approach Obama campaigned on. He's overplaying his hand. The last time we trusted him with both houses of congress, we got Obamacared. This time the electorate gave him a GOP House to prevent exactly the kind of sharp left turn after election we are seeing now. Instead of working toward a bipartisan solution to the greatest threat to our national security, Obama is maniacally gaming for more political power. He is shameless. The fact remains that unless he solves our catastrophic debt problem, his legacy will be as the president who created the ugliest, most destructive cultural divide in at least a generation in order to dismantle the American economy and way of life, and most importantly, create a one party political system. Let's hope the GOP evolves, breaks the chokehold of the religious right, and gets on board with serious immigration reform, becomes a more inclusive party. Obama's agenda is now crystal clear- he wants a Euro style welfare state.

    December 2, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  20. The Bizzle

    The Republicans control the House people. Get over it. The people had a chance to change that this last election, they didn't take over the house majority. The Presidents going to have to play ball. Its called a democracy.

    December 2, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  21. TES

    What is an absolute joke is that Obama has proposed no serious plan to cut spending – all he wants is more money from all of us!!!!! Don't you recognize that the $800 Billion stimulus never left the budget – that's why the Dems never passed a budget – continuing resolutions just kept the money there – it sould be easy to cut – but Obama wants it all and has no idea what compromise is.

    Most Rebublicans wouldn't have too big a problem with more revenue to Uncle Sam if .... and its a big if-. – there are significant spending cuts Obama can't have it both ways.

    I have urged my Congressman not to accept any tax increases without a 10 to 1 cut is spending.

    December 2, 2012 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  22. PJ

    The GOP just doesn't get it. They have to work with the President on this crisis or everyone will be hurt. Shame on them for this behavior.

    December 2, 2012 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  23. snomannn

    Mr. Boehner, you may be "flabbergasted", but you had better get over it sooner than later. The people of this country have spoken and your guy didn't win. The Republicans thought they could buy this election with their massive infusions of strategic cash contributions, but it didn't work this time. It's a new day and a new way. We do not like the business as usual form of government and have put you and your party on notice. Listen up sir.

    December 2, 2012 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  24. muzyck

    Didn't anyone tell him that Romney lost the election?

    Soon to be know as John "Hiroo Onoda" Boehner.

    December 2, 2012 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  25. An objective observer

    his man has NO BACK BONE – he knows want he has to do but he is at the mercy of his party....... He is scared!

    December 2, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
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