Obama, Boehner speak by telephone after GOP counter-offer
December 11th, 2012
05:33 PM ET
1 year ago

Obama, Boehner speak by telephone after GOP counter-offer

Washington (CNN) - House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama spoke on the phone Tuesday evening after House Republican leaders sent a new offer on a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff on Tuesday.

"We sent the White House a counter-offer that would achieve tax and entitlement reform to solve our looming debt crisis and create more American jobs," Michael Steel, spokesman for House Speaker Boehner, told CNN.

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Steel confirmed the speaker and the president spoke on the phone but declined to give any further detail about the call or the new GOP proposal.

The latest Republican plan comes in response to a proposal that the administration sent to Boehner on Monday, a senior GOP aide told CNN, following Sunday's meeting between the speaker and the president–their first face-to-face meeting in over a year.

The offer that came Monday included a new revenue number of $1.4 trillion, down from the $1.6 trillion that the Obama administration originally proposed, according a Democratic source. The source also said the offer was paired with "a serious spending cut number with real entitlement reform."

But a House GOP aide told CNN of the White House’s offer that "$1.4 isn't really progress this late in the game.”

Steel echoed remarks that Boehner made on the House floor earlier Tuesday, saying Republicans await further specifics from the president on what kind of spending cuts he would include in a deal.

"As the Speaker said today, we're still waiting for the White House to identify what spending cuts the president is willing to make as part of the 'balanced approach' he promised the American people. The longer the White House slow-walks this process, the closer our economy gets to the fiscal cliff," Steel said.

The exchange of new proposals signals that despite public statements by Boehner and top Congressional Democrats that talks are stalled on the major issues of revenue and significant cuts to entitlement programs like Medicare, negotiations behind the scenes have picked up.

– CNN Congressional Correspondent Kate Bolduan contributed to this report.


Filed under: Congress • Fiscal Cliff • John Boehner • White House
soundoff (201 Responses)
  1. GOP IS LOST

    I got an idea for entitlement reform for you! Let's reform the congressional healthcare and retirement plans?! Let's make them pay for the say health benefits you and I pay for. And, if they're not good enough at their jobs to keep them until age 65 (or 67) they can find another job and rollover their 401K just like us when we move from one job to another. Why are they so special??? We must be really stupid to pay them 175K a yr plus benefits for the work they are doing. How much would those two changes save us? Not much, but it would cause them to think twice about how they do their jobs!

    December 11, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    Do right wingnuts think that the middle class and poor have not been paying for unnecessary wars and tax cuts to those who do not need it?

    December 11, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  3. RapidOne

    So the GOP says 'we've sent this counter-offer that will fix everything and we'll see what the president does–and NO, we WON'T tell you what's in the offer but will just say that if the president doesn't take this magnificent offer, he is a poopy-head'. Seriously, anyone still following this DISGUSTING JOKE of the GOP is either just emotionally in tune with their hate or have the intelligence of a schoolyard child. You can't see what these guys are doing??? Such transparent and despicable posturing and gaming with OUR FUTURES. DOWN WITH THE GOP, THE PARTY OF LIES!!!

    December 11, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "It all of our debt and everyone should feel the pinch."

    Newsflash: the middle-class has been feeling the pinch for 60+ years as their average salaries failed to keep up with inflation and cost of living increases and the middle-class shrank, all while their oh-so-magnanimous "job creator" employers and executives pocketed increasing salaries at an ever-accelerating rate? And the working poor, who make almost nothing for 60 hours per week because the GOP/Teatrolls keep minimum wage at the equivalent of $15K per year with their trickle-down supply-side argument...do you really need to be told that they've been feeling the pinch all along?

    December 11, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  5. david

    I think that entitlements or free services should be
    cut out. You can't spend more then you take in. Would you be allowed to handle your own bills as the government handles them. Free programs have to be stopped there is no other way.

    December 11, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  6. CanadaONE

    Who is going to make this famous movie

    Title

    "GOP SLAMS the SIDE OF THE CLIFF"

    it will be a great action film

    December 11, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  7. Larry in Houston

    all this is – is political posturing – one side is betting the other side "Folds" once january rolls around – the voters that elected this president, will find out who's got the bigger kahunas.

    December 11, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  8. Name

    I ay lets all go back to 92/2000 tax code that Clinton had in place . when we had surplus and everyone was happy.

    December 11, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  9. Rick52

    It fascinates me that neither side is offering numbers for defense cuts. Clearly, we can have significant cuts in military spending ($100 billion – $200 billion a year) without a) hurting the military, b) weakening our defenses against any plausible threats, c) damaging the economy severely (of course, communities near military bases will suffer).

    I think both sides know that defense spending will have to be cut in order to strike a deal, but neither side wants to take the lead in suggesting the cuts.

    December 11, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  10. jkane sfl gop mascots the blubbering slobs allen west rover nitwitquest rick scott ,carl rove and donald dump ??????

    The gop is going to be completely destroyed in 2014 elections and any hick state gop left won't matter ,good luck with your new gop communist party !!!!!

    December 11, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  11. JRob

    Whichever side cuts the Medicare and Social Security can kiss it goodbye soon....If the GOP does this they will lose Congress next go-around as sure as anything.

    December 11, 2012 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  12. Daniel

    @Voice4: the middle class and the poor have been feeling the pinch for many many years now, while the rich have been essentially unaffected. time for them to feel it too.

    December 11, 2012 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  13. bob

    Its a spending problem, not a tax problem. Once we cut up the chinese credit card and actually give people a reason to take a job, then I would agree to higher taxes.
    There is no unemployment problem. There is a ' lack of caring to work' problem in this country

    December 11, 2012 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  14. miami love

    haha. i think the rich own us even we sure those guy call G.O.P. american people reject their idea so call tax break for the rich..i dont no what in the world they thinkink .but we as american people we will vote all of those who refused to tax the rich out of the office. they will not have a job on next election if they dont tax the big greed rich who refused to pay the same amount of tax guy like me pay.

    December 11, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  15. Keith in SoJax

    I hope the President can find a way to adjust the medicare and SS programs in a way that will make them sustainable. Assuming I'm able, and someone will have, I can work a little longer. I don't even mind that much as long as the Donald, Grover Norquist and others like them come up with a little pain too. They are just selfish losers. We're all Americans, we can all do our part. We have a nation Billions emulate so we need pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and get this debt and deficit under control.

    December 11, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  16. Mike Jones

    The solution is easy for anyone tha hs ever ran a business. First dont raise taxes close the loopholes such as capital gains. Tax Capital gains as income. Second set the tax rate at 12.5% for everyone and do away with Earned Income Credit. The next step is let me and anyone under the age of 40 buy out of Social Security at forty cents on the dollar if we choose and invest and save the way we want to. Finally cap all so called welfare benifits at 7 years per induvidual.

    December 11, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  17. Mittwit lost

    The republicans need to show they really care for the people or I think they will really hurt they're party for a long long time I hope they can stop the polarization in this country's politics and work together

    December 11, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  18. labman57

    If Boehner really wants to tackle "entitlements", then he should focus his efforts on the entitled venture capitalists who do not pay their fair share of taxes on their investment income, support cutting federal subsidies for corporations that are earning huge profits (e.g., the petroleum industry), and eliminate the tax-exempt status of religious organizations which use their coffers to lobby state and federal legislators, fund state propositions, and proselytize politics from the pulpit.

    December 11, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  19. Barbra K

    If the Republicans had won the election, they would have been blasting that they have enough political cash to do what they wanted. They forget the Democrats won the election, and won it big. McCain lost to Obama by 3 Million Votes and
    Romney added another 2 million votes to that figure. Bush and Cheyney and the existing republicans at the time have added to this debt. According to other reports, no other President has endured what the Republicans are doing now. For crying out loud,give,concede,If not,let them expire and everyone will pay more. Then the republicans will pay the price.

    December 11, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  20. t3chn0ph0b3

    I do not want to go over the cliff, but if the GOP is unwilling to do the things that make the most sense to do to start attacking the problem, we may have to.

    December 11, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  21. Dennis

    @Voice4, except of course the top 2% and their precious temporary tax cuts that the Republicans will run the 98% over with a bus to perserve so they will feel no pain. Other than that, yes, it is all our debt, even though I didn't vote for two stupid trillion dollar wars.

    December 11, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  22. Peter Q Wolfe

    I really like this 1.4 trillion number, but where is the additional 600 billion coming from since the last offer? Medicare should focus on reducing the 5% for 50% of the costs for end-of-life care coordination not raising the 65-67 age limit. Once thatt is resolved that prevention should be the nmain stay with science and technology at its helm not arbitrary morality or whatever.

    December 11, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  23. Chaerlotte

    Tax rates for the wealthy must go up to pre-Bush levels. Period. Let the cuts expire. THEN start negotiating cuts for the people who actually deserve it (middle and low earners). Those rethugliturds didn't create a single new job when they got their windfall from Bonehead Bush and we aren't going to lose any jobs when they lose their lollipop.

    December 11, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  24. Jt_flyer

    I don't even read what Boehner offers anymore. His 8th distinct in Ohio has a median household income of $43,300. Who exactly is he representing? Beside himself and a handful of people.

    December 11, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  25. jules

    I am so fed up with the Republican party that I want to scream! Everything I read involves the Republican party ignoring the people to pass laws that helps big companies at the expence of the middle class. If they are trying to improve their image they are failing

    December 11, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
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