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. Rosslaw

    Tan man forgets that while the party of rape does hold a majority in the House, Obama has the option of telling the most incompetent, p*ssing in his pants scared speaker of the house in history that if he's flabbergasted now, what till January 1.

    December 3, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  2. gladiatorgrl

    At least Nancy knew how to do her job. Can we at least put her back with a majority in 2 years?

    December 3, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  3. tarheel1110

    Boehner might say the problem is going to be dealt with, but until he gets an hearing aid and listens to what the American citizens said, the only thing that will be dealt with is to throw the republicans in the House out in 2014. America said loud and clear to increase taxes on the wealthy as part of any deal.

    Even with all the money spent by GOP super PACS, the GOP lost House members, lost Senate members and lost the presidency. Listen up, citizens said that the GOP are a bunch of losers with no interest in the average citizens. All the GOP is interested in are the top most wealthy people and multinational businesses. i guess that they pay better than your congressional salaries do.

    December 3, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  4. Erin

    Republicans, get a good plan based on the bipartisan committee's recommendations! Get ready to negotiate & then ask for a televised negotiations. But basic economics tells us that digging into debt needs to stop!

    December 3, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  5. don

    This "fiscal cliff" is a creation of the congress and is their responsibility to resolve it. GET TO WORK

    December 3, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  6. Bill

    Show me the spending cuts Timmy!

    December 3, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  7. Bob A.

    Mr. Boehner: please stop whining on Sunday about how ineffective a leader you are. Light up a cigar, go behind closed doors for a few weeks with the administration, and come out with a plan.

    December 3, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  8. Scott

    Boehner needs to go,2 years from now he will be voted out

    December 3, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  9. swmatlgen7

    Everyone seems to forget why we have this "cliff" in the first place. Congress, Repubs and Dems, have both failed to do their jobs and take care of this last year. Both sides agreed to and passed these cost cutting and tax raising measures if our debt was not addressed by now. Let's just go over the cliff!!! Dems say that the Clinton years were the best, so let us go back to those tax rates for EVERYONE as Congress had agreed to do so last year. Even Obama likes to say, "everyone needs to pay their fair share".

    December 3, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  10. david

    Sorry Boehner, you may still have control of the house...but you lost a few and Democrat was reelected...so the signs are on the wall, that yours and the trea baggers days are numbered, unless you change course now!!!!

    December 3, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  11. Don

    The Republican party's fast-track trade agreements shipped all of our jobs overseas. That's why our unemployment rate is so high and the unemployed cannot pay taxes so maybe that's why we're so far in debt of course starting a war with a country that did not attack us and had no weapons of mass destruction also contributed to our debt

    December 3, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  12. 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 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  13. regan flint

    The Republicans are still trying to win the election...Ummmm...Nevermind. Sorry but you lost the election and now you are trying to push ROMNEY'S policies through the back door. Go ahead Republicans , keep trying to commit political suicide.
    See you at the next election.

    December 3, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  14. fiftyfive55

    If it wasn't for busi nesses to offshore good taxpaying jobs to slave labor countries,we wouldn't be in this mess.How does the govt expect to function on taes when people make less money than unemployment pays ? I also notice Americans were all doing a loy better before this "NewWorldOrder" came into being.

    December 3, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  15. Paul

    Mr Boehner there is a bill sitting on your desk to keep tax cuts for 98 per cent. Put down your scotch and do something for the middle class

    December 3, 2012 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  16. n222s

    Okay, please tell me how this will all work? Lets give Obama all the tax increases he wants. That won't fix the deficit. It will only run the government for a few weeks. And he wants the ability to raise the debt limit without going to Congress. And he wants more stimulus spending and he promises cuts to spending without any specifics. How does any of this put our fiscal house in order? Worry all you want about fairness and who won, etc. Please tell me how O's plan puts our fiscal house in order? We're over 16 trillion in debt and nothing he is proposing (or Boehner for that matter) will do anything about the debt.

    December 3, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  17. orion7x

    Malarkey I say!

    December 3, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  18. Robert

    Boehner and his associates are still holding the middle class hostage and they really don't care about any one who tries to make a life for him and his family if they earn less then $250,000. I am independent but if the Bush tax cuts go for middle class and below there will be less money spent on goods and the ones making the money won't hire more people they will hide more money away like Romney does and possible Boehner.

    December 3, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  19. n222s

    Blame every Republican in existence. I don't care. Please tell me, however, how a small tax increase, increased spending and unlimited borrowing and printing money will solve our fiscal problems? I don't care who you blame. How will Obama's plan fix the economy? It is NOT robust and is not generating enough jobs to meet increased population.

    December 3, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  20. Seattle11

    Boehner flabbergasted? I thought he was just drunk again.

    December 3, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  21. ART

    He really needs to go,he has been ineffective as a leader and cries at the drop of a hat.

    December 3, 2012 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  22. rs

    The GOP "leadrship" is clearly very rusty from their 4 years of doing nothing useful for America. They have lost their ideals, their values, their love of America; their connection to working class Americans. They have grown reactionary, simply saying "No!" even when confronted with their own political ideas simply because they are being fed to them via a President whom they have sworn to work against.In short, the GOP has become unfit to lead.

    Proposal 1. Congress will therefore remain in session right through the point that they reach an agreement on the economy, and the budget and the debt limit, or the new Congress is seated.Tthis is 24x 7, right through the holidays.

    Proposal 2. If the Republicans fail to negotiate in good faith, AND it can be shown that they are working only for their lobbyist master(s) or only for the gain of their party, then I think terrorism becomes a justifiable charge- after all they are holding not only our own economy and economic recovery hostage, they are threatening the entire globe with recession if not depression all so they can give the precious 2% of the American public-tax cuts.

    If, in their twisted little minds, this is how they think they can win the next election and bring down a duly elected and seated President- through economic terrorism- then that is precisely how thy must be treated. It would be sweet justice to use the Republican Attorney General's USA PATRIOT Act against Republicans for their demented, and unpatriotic behavior.

    December 3, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  23. Darrell

    Boehner...the point of the President winning the election with his financial plan that he presented to the AMERICAN PEOPLE is that is the plan the PEOPLE want. It is not about what the Republicans want. It is about what the PEOPLE want. And by the majority we agreed that the tax changes for those making over $250k need to happen. It is as simple as that. Getting tired of this Republican versus Democrats crap. The focus should be on what we want as the citizens of this country.

    December 3, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  24. TRH

    In the real world if you are hired and paid a 6 figure wage to balance a budget you better do it NOW or you're fired.

    This is insanity that the American people accept such pathetic losers in office.

    We need term limits and we need them yesterday! We need people in congress who are putting in 80+ hour work weeks WORKING for their salary and not campaigning for their next re-election.

    December 3, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  25. j-stl

    To all of you Obama supporters in this:

    Obama won, Romney lost, and Boehner WON and will be speaker for the next 2 years.

    Please explain what the difference is between raising rates (Obama) and reducing loopholes/deductions (Boehner) if they produce the same revenue? All I know is that loopholes are used for political favoritism by both parties.

    December 3, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
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