Obama, Boehner speak by telephone after GOP counter-offer
December 11th, 2012
05:33 PM ET
2 years 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. marko

    This debt is because of military industrial complex and bailouts and wars. I don't want to pay for it, let the rich fat cats pay for it. Well, that is not going to happen, therefore let inflation take care of it. So much for the elderly and baby boomers they are screwed.
    2.4 trillion income 3.5 trillion expenses , how about 2.6 trillion income, 2.5 trillion expenses

    December 12, 2012 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  2. Susie

    CNN sounds like The Onion these days. Sad.

    December 12, 2012 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  3. Bertha59

    I just want this to be over with.

    December 12, 2012 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  4. Honestly

    No Voice4, everone doesn't feel the pinch. The wealthiest Americans have never lived fatter in the history of this country. The middle class has never been made to bear the burden more. Disgusting what the GOP has done to hijack this country for the selfish interests of the most powerful and wealthy.

    December 12, 2012 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  5. evensteven

    What an unnecessary drawn out big huge drama . . .

    December 12, 2012 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  6. NameAlbrit

    No more tax breaks for rich people,because obviously they create jobs but OVERSEAS,and laughing in the Americans 98%.Republicans stop playing!

    December 12, 2012 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
  7. Nameawnwry1

    Republicans need to stop whining, Those whom will be getting the tax increase wouldn't even notice it...if Boehner would just shut up.

    December 12, 2012 03:45 am at 3:45 am |
  8. shelbyanne

    The rich do not pay a fair share if tax.Cuts slow growth. End loop holes and raise tax ion the rich to 62% to 94%. Pay debt now, not ten years from now.

    December 12, 2012 04:15 am at 4:15 am |
  9. Eric Holle

    I love how liberal people defend social security and medicare as if there current form is in any way sustainable. They both should be tied directly to average life expectancy. Lets say average life expectancy by gender minus 12 years. Then as life expectancy increases, so too should the number of years we are expected to
    WORK before collecting on public entitlement programs.

    December 12, 2012 04:35 am at 4:35 am |
  10. Mark Yelka

    The rich influence how laws are written... to their favor. They should pay higher taxes as a balance against their being able to game the system.

    December 12, 2012 05:09 am at 5:09 am |
  11. Name USA1

    Enough already! The GOP had 8 yrs of their pathetic tax break, unfortunetly they used it to amass millions of dollars for their over sea accounts. No jobs created, so they could make sure that the sitting president did not get reelected. All of this at the expense of the AMERICAN PEOPLE who lost homes, savings, and jobs. It's time to step up and give back to their country, the middle class has been doing it proudly for years.

    December 12, 2012 05:09 am at 5:09 am |
  12. Mark Yelka

    The rich influence how laws are written to their favor. They should pay higher taxes as a balance against their being able to take unfair advantage.

    December 12, 2012 05:12 am at 5:12 am |
  13. Mark A

    First time I've ever seen a picture of Obama and Boehner with Boehner smiling.

    December 12, 2012 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  14. Thesoundofthevoice

    Ah voice 4, but shouldn't those that reaped the most benefits feel the biggest "pinch"?

    December 12, 2012 05:37 am at 5:37 am |
  15. Mark A

    Don't believe what people say. Pay close attention to what they do. Boehner has to go. He's part of the problem and not the solution. He represents the Boehner, not the people.

    December 12, 2012 05:38 am at 5:38 am |
  16. Zoey

    When the Republicans say and it creates new jobs that must mean the Keystone Pipeline got approved. How many people do you know can work on a pipeline? Yeah , those will be some great jobs. Score one for the Koch brothers, zero for the planet.

    December 12, 2012 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  17. The Sound of Reason

    Why play the game with Republicans? They've shown themselves to be "true idiots" and real losers. Let's just go over the fiscal cliff. Republicans, I hope you have your parachutes on.

    December 12, 2012 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  18. Minnie Mouse

    Please let the country know, when you have reached a done deal! You can talk, make counter-offers, and negotiate all you want. Until an agreement is reached, it's all meaningless to the country. Peoples paychecks are going to effected, the businesses who don't have a clue how to be doing payroll yet as of Jan. 2013 ect..because the entire country is waiting on specific answers and yet to hear them. Don't procrastinate on the real issues, because these are the real issues that have got to be resolved and don't need to be moved on to be left to go over again in the next year.

    December 12, 2012 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  19. Bob

    CNN Stop creating news where there is none. Let the leaders do their work. Dont get everyone all worked up.

    December 12, 2012 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  20. upstateny

    The Voice2............I agree with you. I think SS and Medicare recipients are going to take a hit. Instead of getting jobs back here, taxing corporations that send their jobs to third world countries, dealing with lifetime welfare/medicaid recipients....they will continually punch the middle class taxapayor in the face.

    December 12, 2012 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  21. daniel

    Speker, just listen to the President! Will you do that? If you do that, I won't ask you for my X-mass gift.

    December 12, 2012 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  22. K Clevinger

    QUOTE FROM the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD—U.S. SENATE – Mr. President, I rise today to talk about America’s debt problem. The fact that we are here today to debate RAISING America’s DEBT LIMIT is a sign of LEADERSHIP FAILURE…This year, the Federal Government will spend $220 billion ON INTEREST. That is more money to pay interest on our debt this year than we will spend on education, homeland security,
    transportation, and veterans benefits COMBINED…Every dollar we pay in interest is a dollar that is not going to investment in America’s priorities. Instead, interest payments are a significant TAX on all Americans—a debt tax that Washington doesn’t want to talk about. If Washington were serious about honest tax relief in this country, we would see an effort to reduce our national debt by returning to responsible fiscal policies…Previously,…The Senate had to abide by the commonsense budgeting principle of balancing expenses and revenues. Unfortunately, the principle was abandoned. As a result, tax breaks have not been paid for by reductions in Federal spending, and thus the only way to pay for them has been to increase our deficit to historically high levels and borrow more and more money. Now we have to pay for those tax breaks PLUS the cost of borrowing for them…the fiscal policies of this administration and its allies in Congress will add more than $600 million in debt for each of the next 5 years...we must remember that the more we depend on foreign nations to lend us money, the more our economic security is tied to the whims of foreign leaders whose interests might not be aligned with ours. Increasing America’s debt WEAKENS US domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘‘the BUCK STOPS HERE.’’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our CHIILDREN and GRANDCHILDREN. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to OPPOSE the effort to increase America’s debt limit.
    U.S. Senate Record Page SS2237 3/6/06 speech given by Senator Barack Obama

    December 12, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  23. Willy

    The end result will be how each allows the other to walk away without losing face – made more difficult by painting each other in corners. End result will be the American people will be played again. The only thing we will see will be the footsteps left in the paint leading to an escape door as they both emerge with smiles of victory with their arms around each other telling us what a great job they dd and how America won. Seen that before and that's how we got here. This is instant replay. Dejavu...whatever.

    December 12, 2012 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  24. Sagebrush Shorty

    Obama can promise anything but delivering on these promises is another matter. Ronald Reagan learned the hard way about Democrats reneging on promises. Get it in writing.

    December 12, 2012 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  25. Anonymous

    Can't wait to let this rotten process expire and let the taxes go up and see what happens. Thsi is the deal the Repubs gave us some time ago so let's make them stick to it. They know it all, they know whats best right??

    December 12, 2012 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
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