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. Winston Sardine

    What people are witnessing are the death throes of the Republican Party as it stands today. Totally out of touch with the vast majority of Americans & beholden to only the few wealthy zealots & Wall Street barons, the Republican hierarchy can't accept or acknowledge the reality that "their" America is dying & they can't stop the tide of Hispanics, Asians , African-Americans et al who increase in voting numbers each & every month on the side of theDemocrats & their policies. The Pew Research team estimates that each month 100,000 elder Americans pass away & at the same time , 66,000 plus Latinos . Asian & Black youth turn 18 & eligible to vote . This should scare the pants off Boehner & his colleagues , but then they can't see the forest for the trees can they !

    December 11, 2012 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  2. Another Voice

    Funny how all these people not drawing any of the benefits (so called Entitlements) are not being used as consultants for reform and possible cuts. After all most on these entitlements have paid money into the system for decades with the expectation of seeing some benefits when they need them. Meanwhile, the ones who would make these cuts likely will never need to use Medicare or anything under Social Security. No wonder they want cuts. Hope the President drives a hard bargain and that the other side of the aisle will accidently do the best they can for all of us ... No matter what side of the issue we stand for. Peace and Happiness to All.

    December 11, 2012 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  3. Larry L

    All Republican proposals attack the Medicare and the Affordable Healthcare Law but offer nothing to replace the benefits. This means Republicans care more about a couple of percentage points for the ultra-wealthy in their tax obligations more than the health of the elderly and the poor. When I think about what Jesus might do I never see the face of the modern conservative.

    December 11, 2012 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  4. greg

    Here is how you fix it are you ready? Get rid of all entitlements. Food stamps, section 8 well fair all of it. Im.tired of going deeper into debt for bums who dont want to work. Then through that bum out of office. He is a complete waste of time.

    December 11, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  5. iissrub

    Should everyone feel the pinch? Please Voice4. Top 2% will feel the pinch, middle class will be punched, and poor and needy will be K.O. Top 2% should be punched, middle class pinched, and poor left alone.

    December 11, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  6. Jester

    Both parties are lobbying garbage that neither would accept. The sad part is that we all sit and watch as people who should have no part play games with our money and doing no good. There are obvious flaws but no one opens their mouth since the GOP and Dems have "you're with is or you're not" mentalities. We don't need fighting parties to solve problems. It's like a ba marriage and we're the kids that are getting thrown around with no say

    December 11, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  7. Stephen Falk

    America is going down the toilet.
    Your like 5 year olds fighting over who has the most toys

    December 11, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  8. Amazed

    "following Sunday’s meeting between the speaker and the president–their first face-to-face meeting in over a year."

    Please tell me that's a typo. Really? Over a year! No wonder nothing gets done.

    December 11, 2012 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  9. pusblo

    They need to make all these proposals more public. The GOP proposes... what? The Democrats counter with... what? We should have more transparency if for no other reason than to know who to blame when the end result is a disaster.

    December 11, 2012 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  10. six mile sam

    IT'S NOT A GAME. Politicians, stop playing with our lives. Get busy rebuilding OUR country. Do your JOB.

    December 11, 2012 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  11. Gem

    Voice4 - I think the middle class have been feeling the so-called "pinch" for awhile - hence the reason that they're diminishing....It's time for others to sacrifice a bit more.

    December 11, 2012 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  12. angel estrada

    SO WHATS The deal?? Oh yea there is none yet hmmm

    December 11, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  13. John

    13% flat tax for all income. Social security tax extended to first $120k of income but only at 5% for income between $92k and $120k, increase retirement age to 67.5. Cap deductions at some set number (or better yet, get rid of them altogether) cut defense by $20 billion this year, $40 billion the next year, and $100 billion in three years from current levels.

    Fair, adjusts for life expectancies increasing, brings troops home from all over the world....what's not to like?

    December 11, 2012 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  14. enough.

    So quickly the republicans forget that it was their own that took our country from a surplus to a deficit. You had 8 years of "junior" running around with a no limit credit card, and now you're mad that we actually have to pay the bill? Get over it! I've always veiwed taxes as the price we have to pay to live in our country. Yeah, taxes suck, but I think it's reasonable that we should be willing to pay to enjoy the many freedoms that we have. If I have to work a little harder and pay a little more to leave behind a decent world for future generations, then I'm okay with that. Greed is what will destroy this country.

    December 11, 2012 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  15. SFRich

    "Entitlement reform" should begin with a 25% cut in pay and benefits for members of congress, as well as them being force to settle for the same medicare plan as the rest of the over 65 crowd.

    December 11, 2012 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  16. tim

    Waiting for the republicans to pounce on this because they're not allowed to comment on faux news.

    December 11, 2012 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  17. Kevin

    $1,000,000 should be offered to the first Republican politician that actually answers the question asked of them ... i'm sure the greed incentive might actually allow them to answer the question instead of the same old prepared script ... instead of the same old prepared script ... instead of the same old prepared script ... instead of the same old prepared script ... instead of the same old preared script...

    December 11, 2012 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  18. ralph

    Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic (Lord Dumbledore) – lets hope President Obama and House Speaker Boehner can find the right words. A Canadian friend of the USA.

    December 11, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  19. Nodack

    Until Boener agrees to ending the tax breaks for the rich we are wasting time.

    December 11, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  20. Name

    Hopefully the unnamed cuts include cutting the fraud out of welfare. The food stamp and housing assistance was never meant to be a forevor deal and is completly out of control. The only thing welfare has managed to create is babies having babies. It has also created a system where we food stamps are sold to buy drugs not food. This is not the case with all but it is happening and we all know it. Social security and medicare is for the older people and the truly disabled and should not be touched. Nor should we be taking from the veterans who put their life on the line for us. We have young and capable people in this world that can be contributing yet instead of enabling them to be independent we are making them more dependent by giving them welfare. Also should we really be contributing to other countries when we cant even take care of our own. And yes the rich should contribute too we all have to if we want America to thrive. Democrats need to cut spending and republicans need to give.

    December 11, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  21. arosel

    There's only one offer Boehner and it's called bend over and take it.

    Take it for screwing Americans the last 4 years. You Republicans are pathetic liars and dirty dogs.

    December 11, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  22. real american

    the dems seem to like the tax rates under billy jeff in 1998-Ok-lets use them-as long as we use that 1998 budget as well

    December 11, 2012 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    Save money.........How about both parties alike forfeit there undeserving pay post term. If any other American works a job (non federal that is) for 4 years plus and quits or gets fired they don't continue to get a pension for life. Does the President really think he deserves $299K per year for life for the remainder of his life........? You want to save money, start by eliminating all the costs associated with a labor force post term but is still compensated for the position.

    December 11, 2012 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  24. skitty

    WHAT OUGHT TO BE DONE IS THAT CONGRESS CANNOT ADJOURN UNTIL A FAIR AGREEMENT IS REACHED TO END THE FISCAL CLIFF FEARS! NO BREAK, NO VACATION, NO TRIPS HOME! IF NOT, NO RE-ELECTION NEXT TIME AROUND! THE AMERICAN CITIZENS VOTED FOR THE POLITICIANS TO WORK FOR THEM, NOT TO BE PART OF A POLITICAL NIGHTMARE! QUIT WASTING MONEY AND MAKE AN ADULT DECISION, OR DONT BRAG THAT YOU REPRESENT A FREE NATION!

    December 11, 2012 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  25. mrs b

    I, like most of the US, am sick of this battle. We have overspent. You can not wage 2 wars, cut taxes, and expect the budget to be balanced. We need Congress to do their job – work with the President and get a deal!. You, the House are half of the Congress. Ideally, you hold 1/6 of the power in out Govt. ( US Supreme Court, 1/3, President 1/3, Senate 1/6) Do your job! What whiners!

    December 11, 2012 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
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