December 2nd, 2012
11:25 AM ET
8 years 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. Ezo

    Get this man outta here!

    December 2, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  2. Ancient Texan

    Rogue351- A little class envy?

    December 2, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  3. NukeTim

    Bonehead (Boehner's NEW aka) is flabbergasted at ANYTHING that doesn't go his way. It is as if he is NEVER wrong.

    Who'da thunk????? Maybe he'll cry again for us....

    December 2, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  4. GOP PO

    The GOP is still conducting campaign politics, and they are drving every discussion directly from Karl Rove's treasure trove of vitriol. If we go over the cliff, it's the republicans driving the car and pushing the gas. First they're upset that there isn't a plan from the WH, then they're upset the plan isn't the plan they want, while offering no solutions other than words like 'entitlements." Please get off your butts and do your job! Fix the problems and quit fighting over who has more votes or seats or 'likes.'

    December 2, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  5. nitrous

    Maybe the President (note capital P) wants to see Boehner cry...

    December 2, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. petemg

    Excuse me but there are a great deal of working people who do not want want Obama wants. Obama must get down to discussing the economic problems and quit golfing. Obama's problem is he wants all things his way or no way. We need to have a leader who is willing to listen and to find out a common idea to work with. So how many actual days has Obama spent in DC compared to his wasteful spending on campaigning all year round.

    December 2, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  7. Roy

    I see 'Boner' getting his walking papers by the American public if we go over a cliff because of these Republicans in Congress. We've been through enough with their Wall St. buddies and 8 years of Bush's wars and financial mismanagement.. Time for them to take a hike...wait a minute...the American public voted them back into office for another 4 years.....sorry, my bad.

    December 2, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  8. JamesName

    Frankly is bad at math as well. Deficit is 1.3 trillion. Letting bush tax cuts and limit deductions lowers the deficit by 200 billion. 15% is not 1/3.

    December 2, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  9. Graham

    Obama's not serious? Please! Republicans run their 2012 campaigns on deficit reduction and then propose a spending package that closes the budget gap by less than $200B over 10 years. Obama and Geithner's plan reduces deficits by $1.7 Trillion (9x more!) and Boener calls that "not serious".

    I think it should now be clear that congressional Republicans aren't serious about deficit reduction. They are serious about protecting their 1% benefactors however.

    December 2, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  10. Brian

    to Liz the First


    December 2, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. David

    It's times like this I wish we had a parliamentary system. A vote of no confidence in the Republican leadership could be taken and the Democrats would have a chance at taking back the House. As it is, we have to wait out two more years of John Boner's obstructionism.

    December 2, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  12. roro

    With Eric Cantor eyeing Boehner's position to the point of hungry looks behind his back, Boehner has to tow the right fringe line in order to hold onto his position. Talk about a rock and a hard place.

    December 2, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  13. HMAC

    His response is pathetic, disgusting, obscene. How out of touch can these guys be. If I hear him say "the American public wants bla, bla bla" one more time I am going to puke.

    December 2, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  14. Brian



    December 2, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  15. Jules

    Why should it not be that the GOP must negotiate with the president giving that he campaigned on higher tax rates for those making over 250,000 and he won the election. The majority of Americans want taxes raised on those making more than 250,000. It is the GOP not willing to compromise. The offer was made to the GOP to approve the tax rates for those making less than 250,000 but they didn't want to go along with that even though they say they agree with it. They are protecting with wealthy plain and simple. Time to get real Boehner and bring your caucus with you.

    December 2, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  16. Doug in PA

    @ohsnap Not to confuse you with facts or anything but for the first 2 years of Obama's presidency the democrats had a filibuster proof super-majority in the house and senate. What did they do with it? They sucked cash out of the US Treasury at an alarming rate and gave it to their criminal friends on wall street. Thanks for playing, though.

    December 2, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  17. Jules

    Hey Gabbo – it is always a small p on president if the name of the president is not included.

    December 2, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  18. jeff

    It is no wonder they do not know what to do. The interest on the deficit is more than tax revenue. So completely cut off military, Medicare and shut down the government and it still will not be enough!

    December 2, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  19. steven harnack

    First the GOP complains that the President isn't leading and then when he does lead, they fall all over themselves to complain about that. The President has told you what to do and how to do it, it's your turn.

    December 2, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  20. John

    Obama is doing what the majority of the people want and Bonehead admits that. The gopers are goig over the cliff hand in hand.

    December 2, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  21. Thinkergal

    Boehner's idea of a "deal" remains the same - do it his way or no way.

    December 2, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  22. JD

    If you still call them the bush tax cuts, you really shouldn't be participating in the conversation. President Obama could have dealt with that the first two years. He chose them to be the Obama tax rates.

    Why does he not like his own tax rates.

    December 2, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  23. Asturiano

    John – put up or shut up. Where are all those plans you had for avoiding the fiscal cliff? Where is your tax reform proposal? Why don't you trust Americans to judge whether your proposals have merit or just more snake oil.

    December 2, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  24. michael

    CNN, how about Americans are flabbergasted at repukitards "do nothing" congress who only make a stand for the corporations, rich millionaires and billionaires! Its insulting to Americans to see your rightwing leanings, again just like in the election trying to deceive,manipulate and influence public opinion against the president! If this was not true, we would see more than a Timothy Geitner article on this site against 4 "talking head" repukitards! Well, CNN it did not work in the election and it will not work now because the American people have already spoken. GET ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THESE ISSUES SINCE YOUR TRYING TO INFLUENCE PUBLIC OPINION!

    December 2, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  25. mgrgurich

    The GOP built the cliff. What part of negotiating doesn't Boehner get? You don't walk into a negotiation and offer the final price as a starting point. One side says $1200 the other side says how about $200 and after some talk you end up with $700. Obama put $1.6 trillion in revenue plus 600 billion in cuts as an opening bid. Instead of rejecting it Boehner needs to put up a counter offer and we'll meet in the middle.

    December 2, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
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