Boehner blasts Obama's response to GOP fiscal cliff proposal
December 4th, 2012
03:10 PM ET
6 years ago

Boehner blasts Obama's response to GOP fiscal cliff proposal

Washington (CNN) - House Speaker John Boehner blasted President Barack Obama following the White House's apparent rejection of the deficit reduction proposal he sent to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue on Monday.

"If the President really wants to avoid sending the economy over the fiscal cliff, he has done nothing to demonstrate it," Boehner said in a statement on Tuesday.

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The two sides have exchanged charges that the other is advancing unrealistic proposals.

"I made myself clear, and certainly both the speaker of the House and Senator [Mitch] McConnell [the minority leader] know that I'm prepared to make some tough decisions on some of these issues, but I can't ask folks who are … middle-class seniors who are on Medicare, young people who are trying to get student loans to go to college - I can't ask them to sacrifice and not ask anything of higher-income folks," Obama said in an interview Tuesday with the Bloomberg television channel.

His communications director, Dan Pfeiffer, wrote Monday evening, "Until the Republicans in Congress are willing to get serious about asking the wealthiest to pay slightly higher tax rates, we won't be able to achieve a significant, balanced approach to reduce our deficit our nation needs."

On Sunday, Boehner said on Fox that Obama's proposal late last week left him "flabbergasted."

"Right now I would say we're nowhere. Period." He continued. "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."

He said in the Tuesday statement that Obama's plan "could not pass either house of Congress," though negotiations are largely seen as a need for compromise between he – as head of the Republican-led House – and Obama. Democrats control the Senate.

"The day after the election, I said that Republicans are willing to make concessions, but the President must be willing to lead," Boehner said in his statement. "With our latest offer we have demonstrated there is a middle ground solution that can cut spending and bring in revenue without hurting American small businesses.

He sent a letter to Obama on Monday outlining his proposal for $2.2 trillion in deficit reduction with $800 billion new revenue. Obama has proposed $1.6 trillion in increased revenue, including raising taxes on income over $250,000.

Boehner said that "obligation to respond with a proposal" now lies with Obama.

A Republican aide said Tuesday that there were no behind-the-scenes talks of any variety currently taking place.

"No conversations today – no emails, tweets, carrier pigeons," the aide said. "The White House is making no effort to find a compromise to avert the fiscal cliff. We are ready to talk whenever they are ready to get serious."

- CNN's Dana Bash, Deirdre Walsh, and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report

Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • John Boehner • President Obama
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    This is the GOP's/Teatrolls' game: delay delay delay and, even though they take the most damage from the fiscal cliff, they at least get to take Obama and the Dems with them when they go down. The fact is, they don't believe in gov't, don't want gov't to work (or else it disproves the cornerstone of their ideology), don't want a federal gov't in the first place, are sick of the federal gov't and have been since the 1860's, and if they have to destroy it completely to get what they want, then they don't really give a crap. You can't negotiate with people willing to shoot the hostage. Only thing left is to dare them to do it. Go ahead GOPers/teatrolls, WE DARE YOU. WE DO NOT NEGOTIATE WITH TERRORISTS.

    December 4, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    I am sick to death of hearing Boehner's threats and hostage taking (middle class) obstruction. Apparently he's been sniffing his own rubber and glue bait too long to make much sense anymore. So, yeah. I agree with Obama ... Boehner "proposals" are unbalanced.

    Take us over the cliff, John Boehner. You've been threatening it for four years now. Might just as well finish the job for once and let the chips fall where they will.

    December 4, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  3. rs

    Boehner- I almost feel for you. You and your party are threatening the old crash n' burn. And, just why is that? You're trying to defend continuing to give the richest 2% of Americans tax cuts at the expense of everybody else.

    In plainer terms "we want to keep the Bush tax cuts alive for those poor millionaires, and shoot, yer Grandma didn't need that Social Security check anyway".

    Do you really think that flies?Do you think anyone but nutjob TEA Party people will buy that?

    At this rate after this little gig you guys might be suitable for national elected office sometime arond 2040 -if you're lucky.

    December 4, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. V

    Would someone please take the cotton out of Boehner's ears? What part of ending the Bush era tax cuts for the top 2% are you having touble understanding? The President has already said that any proposal that does not end those cuts will not be signed.

    Hang tight, Mr. President. That is why you were re-elected and the working middle class stands behind you. Do not let these goons get away with their games any longer. We – the worker bees of the world – can not afford it!

    December 4, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    Mr. Speaker, you have no way to get a fair deal out of a dictatorial President. Just leave him to his own designs, and give him nothing.

    December 4, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  6. Guest

    Sniffit – get a clue! What we dont believe in is perpetual government waste! Big difference. I can assume by most of your comments that you are satisfied with the current bloated spending, lack of accountability, etc and determined to ensure that someone else continues to pay for it all.

    December 4, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |

    "Boehner blasts Obama's response to GOP fiscal cliff proposal"
    LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING! you should be thankful for Obama's response to the GOP fiscal cliff proposal!
    My response would have included vulgar language and GOP head slapping

    December 4, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  8. sonny chapman

    The Repubs. are the one's using inflammatory words in public re:negotiations. Like the 5th Graders that they are.

    December 4, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  9. NVa Native

    The GOP's endless childish tantrums and false claims are embarassing. They were elected and are paid to be Congressmen/Senators to work for the American people.
    Does the state from which they came pay their salary – no, its a federal govt job, all Americans pay their salary, benefits, and outrageous expense accounts. Eight years of following Bush down the rabbit hole, and four years of doing nothing but complaining and whining while obstructing and or sabatoging the many positive efforts of others in Congress or the White House is anti-American.
    Where are the jobs bills they promised??

    December 4, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  10. sonny chapman

    Rates, rates, rates. Anything else will allow the Repubs. & their 2 % to rig the deal.

    December 4, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  11. freedom

    @ Rick McDaniel
    Absolutely agree. Key word – dictatorial.

    December 4, 2012 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  12. Randy, San Francisco

    Voters only have to know one thing: the GOP/Tea Party is for the rich.

    December 4, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  13. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA


    December 4, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  14. nvorr

    Since Boehner swears he doesn't use tanning booths or artificial tanning products, is he actually an African American? His complexion is as dark as the President's. I'm from Ohio too, but that year round tan is not natural.

    December 4, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  15. freedom

    This president has no interest or intention of compromosing – he proved that when he crammed Obamacare down our throats. Most Americans were against it – he didn't care. Short memoris breed dangerous consequences.

    December 4, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  16. scarf

    Can someone explain to me why any tax loopholes should not be closed regardless of whether or not they're part of a deficit reduction deal?

    December 4, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  17. Rick E.

    John Boehner is a fool that would rather see the country go down the tubes than face the fact that they are LOOSERS like RICK MCDANIEL. If the people wanted GOP's B.S. they would have voted them in but the didn't so live with it John Boehner, you are not wanted anymore. If the USA goes over the fiscal cliff GOP will be blamed and rightly so. This years food stamps brought to you by your friendly neighborhood republican party.

    December 4, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "Mr. Speaker, you have no way to get a fair deal out of a dictatorial President. Just leave him to his own designs, and give him nothing."

    Yes, please do. That will work so well for the GOP. I encourage it wholeheartedly. Please walk out on negotiations AND on Congress and see where that gets you, GOPers/Teatrolls. WE DARE YOU.

    December 4, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  19. robbfromok

    Rick McDaniel

    Mr. Speaker, you have no way to get a fair deal out of a dictatorial President. Just leave him to his own designs, and give him nothing.


    Yeah and by "new" revenues, he wants to close loopholes that are going to hurt middle class workers more than they do the top 2%. As far as dictatorial leadership. Look no further than you're right wing extremists. Rob from the poor and give to the rich, cut food stamps, but prevent women from getting contraception, (or in the case of rape) take away their god given choice of free will concerning the results of that pregnancy. Yet i digress, it's impossible to reason with people who think their christian values should be dictating our nation's laws, forget about everyone else and their faith/ belief, or value system. right?

    December 4, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  20. Ericka Golden

    I really do not understand what is so hard for people to see here. The president clearly states he will not sit back and let the Middle Class contiue to foot the bill. I guess the Republican Party wants to see the rich get richer and the middle class get poorer. Sooner or later there is going to be two classes of people in this country, The Rich and The Poor there will soon be no Middle Class is the Republicans get their way.

    For me, its not about Rebublican or Democrat its about me being able to substain the quality of life that I have as a Middle Class Citizen what is so hard to understand about that.

    December 4, 2012 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  21. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The GOP did put together some "numbers" alright but didn't clarify what was in those "numbers". It's like the game where 3 nuts shells are placed on a table face down and you have to guess what's under them and never guess correct because nothing is under any of them but you pay. It's time we get all these doctors and lawyers out of Congress and hire economist to deal with the Worlds largest economy and let the Justices do the job they were hired to do.

    December 4, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  22. Discernment


    President Obama has made it clear for the past 4-years and that the American people want the richest 2% to pay their 'fair share' of taxes. And your offer Mr. Boehner does not include any sacrifices from rich. If anything, Boehner's offer allows the rich to go free once more and not pay their fair share of taxes.

    President Obama and the Democrats must hold firm until John Boehner and the belligerent Tea Party House members raise the tax rates on the rich from 35% to 39%; while holding middle-class tax cuts the same. Nothing less.

    December 4, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  23. Felix

    When Obama finishes his political one-upsmanship and games, maybe both decides can actually sit down and talk. All they both sides are doing is making it more difficult to reach a deal when they do finally meet and get serious.

    December 4, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  24. Lisa P

    Translation: I can't control my caucus. I can't deliver the votes. I am just putting out more hot air.

    Speaker Boehner is proving what we already suspected in President Obama's first term; he is a failure as a Speaker of the House and an empty suit when it comes to negotiations. President Obama should turn his attention to peeling off the forty or so Republican votes he needs to pass his agenda and leave Speaker Boehner, the so-called Tea Party and its' billionaire backers to rot where they stand, still trying to obstruct economic recovery and the welfare of the American people and the American republic.

    December 4, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  25. ghostriter

    We've had the same argument for over a year now. republicans have to give it up. You lost. This idea lost. Obstructing for the sake of such is pointless.

    December 4, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
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