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."

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

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. clarke

    To be honest, I am flabbergasted that the Speaker of the house is flabbergasted. Where has he been for the past 2 years?
    I really think he should be replaced as Speaker, He really works for Grover. The GOP could do so much better if they wanted. Just think , If anything happened to both the President and VP, The speaker sit in the Oval office.

    December 3, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  2. larry from d block

    its funny...if the GOP doesnt compromise, tax goes up for everybody....if they do, tax goes up for only 2%. Now if they have the intereset of everybody at heart,iit is logical they would take the deal but guess what? they dont! they rather have the entire nation pay than the 2%.

    December 3, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  3. Al-NY,NY

    poor Tan Man. Painted himself into a corner with the treasonous Grover and now doesn't know what to do.....

    December 3, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  4. rizzo

    Boehner is 'flabbergasted' at anything that takes place in the real world and not the world of the rich. Obama won because the rich hording their money is wrong and those of us who have moral turpitude know this.

    December 3, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  5. Norm

    "Flabbergasted"....

    Is that what turned him orange?

    December 3, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  6. Realityblowz

    Why worry???? Why don't we just follow Pelosi's advice that she used during the passage of Obama care. We have to go over the cliff to see whats in it.

    December 3, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  7. Roger

    Turn the House midterm and get rid of these useless Republicans who have done nothing but obstruct any progress.

    December 3, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  8. I AM

    He, like all the republican party , are obstructionist.

    December 3, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  9. wildbunny

    he is a total crybaby ... always has been. i think secretly he really likes and believes in this president

    December 3, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  10. LivinginVA

    Truthful: They said they needed the tax cuts to expand and create jobs. Thye have had these tax cuts for years and haven't created jobs, just increased their own pay.

    I'm an Obama voter and my husband and I may well end up paying more if he gets his way. We don't have a problem with that if it will mean that those at the other end of the economic spectrum aren't screwed.

    December 3, 2012 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  11. MP in VA

    That Boehner seems surprised by this just tells me how out of touch he is. The president been saying this for the past year. Why is it that the Republicans still seem hell-bent on unilateral, non-cooperative negotiations while the democrats seem open to compromise except on one key (and common sense) issue. The FACT is, the top 1% did very well for the past 10 years (average of 14% increas of income) while the income of the rest averaged less than 1% and many more have turned to government benefits to get by. Let's not forget that productivity of workers in that same time increased (i.e. work more for same or less pay). The president rightly pointed out that there is a problem in a system like that, and he rightly pointed out that it was time to fix said system. If Boehner and the Republicans continue to ignore this, then they are signing their own walking papers.

    December 3, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  12. Daverelentless

    Boehner is flabbergasted by small animals, not surprising that English is a language he does not quite grasp. Maybe when he's drunlit'll come tohim. We just need to wait an hour or so now that the sun is up.

    December 3, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  13. Ed Zepp

    Boehner: "the President's idea of negotiation is, 'roll over and do what I ask'".....Gosh, John....where would he have gotten that idea? -Maybe from four years of negotiating with Republicans who are only willing to "compromise" if Obama gives them everything they want. You and that treasonous McConnell need to get to work and do something for the country instead of for the richest 2% you represent.

    December 3, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  14. James Hartman

    Stop feigning increduality, Mr. Boehner. Offer up your counter-proposal. I'll even help you. How's this:

    One Trillion in new revenue, One Trillion in spending cuts.

    Your move Mr. President.

    December 3, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  15. Douglas

    Not sure why Boehner is flabbergasted... Obama ran on this platform and was elected, so the end of tax cuts for the wealthy should come as no surprise. Wake up.

    December 3, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  16. Crazy Yates

    Not nearly as flabergasted as he will be in two years if the GOP doesn't get their act together.

    December 3, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  17. LarryB

    We didn't have a debt problem until Bush decided to give everyone big tax cuts and then start wars. Boehner should get his head out from his rectum and face facts.

    December 3, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  18. Joey

    Whrn will these boneheads stop being separate democrats and republicans and actually do some good for our country? Maybe when it's too late?

    December 3, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  19. Me IN HOUSTON

    IF WE HAD SHOWN UP TO THE POLLS AT THE 2010 MIDTERM ELECTION THIS FISCAL CLIFF WOULD HAVE NEVER HAPPENED
    The fiscal cliff is a Republican creation. They couldn't pass a jobs bill or bail out home owners, but they can create a fiscal cliff

    December 3, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  20. seniorsandy

    The rich have had it all for the last twelve years. I don't see unemployment going down, or new technologies being invented to solve anything, so why do the rich need so much money? How many homes can one live in, how many cars can one drive? If they spent half of what they did to keep Obama out of the White House, the debt would be a thing of the past. How about this, we stick with who we have now, until they pay off the debt. No elections, just all that PAC money rolling in to eliminate the debt.

    December 3, 2012 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  21. brainiac

    What was the Republicans response to the SURPLUS years of the Clinton administration? Give BIG tax breaks to the RICH, get into 2 WARS that will make them even BIGGER profits, while running a HIGH deficit! Then put the BURDEN of digging our way out from under this insanity on the POOR! It always comes down to that doesn't it? Transfer the wealth from the POOR to the RICH. It is a NEVER ending drum beat. That is what LOST you guys the election. The collective memory is getting longer, despite attempts to make us forget!

    December 3, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  22. cedar rapids

    'Disgusted – I'm not surprised. Obama lied! What did you expect? He had no intentions of making any concessions'
    .......the plan includes cuts so how are cuts not concessions? The plan offers cuts, expiring tax breaks and closing loopholes. What are the repubs also expecting?

    'Obama is doing exactly what he wants to do – turn the US Communist. He already has changed us to a Socialist country. He was the Communist party candidate, remember?'

    oh grow up you sad little person. Enough from the right wing grab-bag of slurs and buzzwords.

    December 3, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  23. MilitaryAF

    Boehner and his fine GOP followers need to be voted out of office. Reasonable GOP members have spoken out about the legitimate need for tax rates for the wealthiest 2% to return back to pre Bush era levels. Members willing to stand firm forcing taxes on everyone to go up vs. for those who won't even feel any impact need to be flushed from the system

    December 3, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  24. debc

    I like the idea i heard on Sunday. Lets put cameras in there so the American people can watch
    whats going on and who said what. our tax money pays there salaries. i think we have a right
    to know the truth. instead of having to listen the GOP blame game. We all know what Obama has said
    it is quite clear. So let us see the truth that GOP is trying to hide. Raise the taxes on the 2% and get on with
    it. They shpuld be paying at least as much as us middle class people. Why should we pay more. We are not
    benefiting at all. Why should they continue to richer off the middle class backs. There is something wrong with
    this picture. Pass it already.

    December 3, 2012 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  25. ronvan

    The old saying: "IF YOUR NOT PART OF THE SOLUTION, YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM"! Boehner needs to be FIRED, KICKED OUT, REMOVED, you name it! The so-called, HEAD of the republican party!? Does this mean that the REST of the republicans FOLLOW him blindly? Seems so.

    December 3, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37