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. Buc

    Boehner needs to stop being a blow hard and get to work. Do something for the country not the country club.

    December 3, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  2. Bob

    I think we should go over the cliff and have rates go up on everyone. The Democrats are always babbling about people paying their "fair share", but when reality hits they really just want to punish the rich....who already carry most of the tax burden. I'm not rich, but I'm sick and tired of these games. The GOP isn't perfect, but its time for the Democrats to put up or SHUT UP.

    December 3, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  3. Really

    When Obama and his Marxist cadre are done with this country the damage will be irreparable and the liberal's with their cohorts in the media will continue to blame Bush; the dumbed down, government uneducated, masses will believe it. So it goes.

    December 3, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  4. John Stockton

    Going over the fiscal cliff is a small price to pay to see the certain demise of the teocons. Call their bluff, Mr. President!

    December 3, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  5. Larry in Houston

    I don't know if CNN is going to print this or not – but it doesn't matter to me – In my opinion, I'm going to start calling that guy "Bonehead" instead of Boehner – it's amazing to me that they want to touch S.S. and / or Medicare. I Payed Into That Social Security for around 30 years, in my life time – but they stil want to give billions to other countries – not to mention their causes. I honestly cannot wait til the mid – terms in 2014 – I hope Obama goes in Full Campaign Mode at That Time – and tell the Voters in this country – that They Really Need To VOTE Again – I wish Nancy gets the gavel back – at least she got things done -

    December 3, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  6. Sagebrush Shorty

    In this case Boehner is correct.

    December 3, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  7. n222s

    We'll definitely go over the cliff and here's why; the minute the President signs on to a deal the economy becomes his own. He has done well blaming Bush and Republicans for everything wrong with the economy for the last 4 years. However, should he sign a deal he is, correctly or not, attached to the consequences. If we go over the cliff he can blame Republicans forever and use executive orders to do as he sees fit. The press will back him. Over 50% of the population will back him. However, if I'm a moderate Dem in a swing house district or Senate seat I'm going to sweat profusely. It took all O's skills to win re-election. It will be hard to generate that kind of tepid enthusiasm in a good portion of his base.

    Face facts. Republican control of many statehouses and scared Dems have created "safe" minority districts in many areas of the country. These areas will vote 99% Dem but that kind of support won't help a Dem in a suburban district. And turnout of minorities is historically less in mid-term elections. And, as a conservative, please demagogue the Tea Party, call them stupid, redneck, ignorant, etc. It will only serve to fire up conservatives and drive them to the polls. Why, oh why, don't you hear the vulgar term "tea bagger" these days? It didn't poll well and make the person using the term look very good after respondents found out what it means. So please. Continue to use that term.

    December 3, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  8. PA86

    Isn't he always in front of a mike and "flabbergasted". Him and his buddy Eric Cantor need to get out from in front of the microphones, draft a counter proposal and submit it to the White House rather than gripe about the President wasting 3 weeks. All this whining to the press is just political fluff. Submit a counter proposal, see what ideas of yours they might adopt and move on. Geez, did any of these guys ever try to shop for a car and make a deal? Next time I buy a car I am going to take the first offer from the car dealer and write a letter to editor of the local paper and say the offer was not "serious". That'll work.

    December 3, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  9. n222s

    errr.....doesn't make the person using the term look very good. Darn it!

    December 3, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  10. freddy

    there isn't anything to do ,let it ride and see what happens.

    December 3, 2012 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  11. nvtncs

    Romney needs to pay the 39% tax rate for the part of his income over $250,000, not 13.9% rate. Period. End of story.
    And the tea party wing of the GOP needs another lesson in 2014.
    Apparently the 2012 election hasn't sunk in yet, for the GOP.

    December 3, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  12. Steve

    What if the fiscal cliff is a careful constructed ruse that allows both parties to reduce government in a way that will not alienate their base?
    BTW: Flabberghasted? Geeez.

    December 3, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  13. cedar rapids

    'Really – When Obama and his Marxist cadre'

    oh please, you couldnt recognise a marxist if karl himself hit you over the head with a sign that said 'i am a marxist'

    December 3, 2012 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  14. Puddin

    What these Repubs want is to not only legislate from the Legislature but they want to call the shots for the Executive Branch also. Not gonna happen. I don't know about other people, but I am sick and tired of worrying about going over a "fiscal cliff" and putting the country back into a recession. I, and thousands of others are so familiar with what a recession can do to a family. Enough, already! Get off your Republican buns, swallow your pride and get 'er done.

    December 3, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  15. Curmudgicus

    It doesn't seem to take much to gast Speaker Boehner's flabber.

    December 3, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  16. Slowgun

    I editted Boehner's remarks to make them accurate:

    While Boehner admitted that going over the fiscal cliff would be detrimental to the economy, he said the Bush tax cuts are mortgaging the future of the next generation and must be allowed to expire. Accordingly, the speaker said going over that cliff is a distinct possibility.

    December 3, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  17. dave

    Boehner "If I don't get my way I will hold my breath till I cry"

    December 3, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  18. Pete

    @Really,talk about dumb,you thought having a business man as president would help this country in Bush and look what he left us and you're so ignorent you go nominate another business man in Romney again!! That's ignorence beyond the norm and yes I'll blame Bush just like I blame Hoover for the Great Depression nitwit and you know you are!!And you're the uneducated party of NO that can't get your lies straight,get an education meathead!!!

    December 3, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  19. SteveinMN

    'Bout time the Oompa Loompa's gast was flabbered.

    December 3, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  20. sandalista

    The Republican party is rendering itself obsolete. One would think that the election was a wake up call for them, but no such thing. I feel pity for them. Societal values change and evolve with every generation. We are moving away from conservative politics and religion to more of a live and let live liberal political agenda. That's why the GOP has no support from younger voters. They are in a precarious situation. If they stay with their current political platform, they might never win an election again. If they change to a more progressive and modern party, they lose all the right wing religious vote (and they wouldn't be 'conservative' anymore).
    I think their ship has sailed and that's probably a good thing.

    December 3, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  21. lance corporal

    uh, the country already voted on this......... Obama made this a part of his platform, WE elected him

    if boehner wants to rule against the will of the people...........

    December 3, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  22. Larry in Houston

    as far as I'm concerned – Let 'er Rip !! After hearing & listening on the Sunday talk shows – the Newtster is on Fox – saying that that so called "fiscal cliff" is nothing but a big scare. And he's also saying that this whole thing about this fiscal cliff – is nothing but a fabricated thing – LOL – the newtster continues to amaze me.

    December 3, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  23. Guest

    So much for the compromise and transparency Obama. More lies, deceipt, distraction, stonewalling, fabrications and financial ruin. Have the dems been forthcoming on anything? Certainly not compromise when they're asking to fund more stimulus! Fools.

    December 3, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  24. rs

    Seeing as all the GOP has in it's quiver of economic tools is "cut taxes", and seeing as they fail to realize that: A.) we have the lowest taxes in a generation (or more), and; B.) in the last 30 years of GOP leadership, we have learned pretty conclusively the most USELESS economic stimulation and job creation comes from giving the rich welfare, we can therefore conclude on issues dealing with the economy, the very last people to listen to is the GOP.

    Perhaps jailing them as economic terrorists would soften them up a little bit for some real-life negotiation.

    December 3, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  25. yuri

    Get rid of Boehner's federal health coverage. That's a few 100 USD spending cuts right away. He ain't doiin' a good job no more and his plain criticism of the WH is not enough to convince many Americans. He seems like a person hermetically sealed in an alternate universes like many of the repugnant repubs.

    December 3, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
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