Boehner blasts Obama's response to GOP fiscal cliff proposal
December 4th, 2012
03:10 PM ET
10 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. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Um, Well,
    Believe it or not, there is such a thing as a vote. Something the Senate and the Democrats have refused to do the last 4 years. Oh, i think there was at least one vote in the Congress. It was about 535 to 0 Obama pay down the debt. for the Obama Plan. Next. Obama pay down the debt? Where did you get that fiction?

    December 4, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  2. nvorr

    Make the wealthy pay their back taxes! The IRS sure as heck goes after the little guy.

    December 4, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "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."

    Yes, clearly. Your straw man argument is so wonderfully accurate. Grow up. We won. Get over it. Move on.

    December 4, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  4. jnpa

    Come on Boehner, you are not going to get 98% of what you want like you did with the debt ceiling debacle. All you have to do is include tax increases for the wealthy and you will probably get a good deal from the President. If not, I hope you are wearing a parachute!

    December 4, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  5. Facts don't Lie

    for over 2 years now what has the president asked for even after the 2010 elections?? HIGHER TAXES on the upper 1%....he ran on it in 2012...he WON on it in why would Boehner act so shocked that he would not accept what he and so far the American people have asked the GOP to do? Ah so sad the tears of a clown.

    December 4, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  6. Wise1Speak


    John Boehner must forget about his leadership post and give the Americans what they have requested (through the re-election of President), which to make the rich pay their fair share of taxes by raising the tax rate on the top 2% earners from 35% to 39%.

    December 4, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. Yonni

    Boehner has no leverage with his party at all it is west of time negotiating with him. Republican are lead by the talk radio show hosts and a tea party bone heads. God save us all

    December 4, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. David

    Boehner's plan was horrible and actually favoured the wealthy and increased taxes on the middle class through the increase of payroll taxes. Also Boehner didn't have the courage to spell out his Medicare and discretionary spending cuts – he is just trying to blame Obama later for his own proposals. Repubs lost time to move on.

    December 4, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. Reality

    First Boehner said the President had to make the first proposal as a starting point. He did. Boehner rejected it, then made his own claiming it was endorsed by Bowles, a Democrat. Bowles clarified that that was completely inaccurate. Now Boehner claims that the ball is back in Obama's court, even though he has done nothing but delay and lie. I think Boehner is the only one who believes that the general American public does not see what he is doing. He may end up Speaker of the Dog House when all is said and done.

    December 4, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  10. Boo

    The Republicans are a disaster. It was their policies that got us into this mess and they have the gall to blame Obama.

    December 4, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  11. Pete

    @Ray E,(Georgia),yah vote if anything republicans put out there is worth voting on..And you Ray are the delushional one backing a bunch of nitwits that'll be out if a job before long or did you think otherwise...With the president and Geithner giving Boehner a 10-1 cuts to revenue increase deal in 2011 and they turned it down so why would this be different right...Your republicans are history because Pres.Obama will just let all the extensions expire and write up a new tax bill for the 98% and then make republicans pass it and quess what you know they will because their political backs are against the walll,not the president or democrates remember that!!So the choice is yours republicans either work with Democrates to help make America what it was before your Bush screwed it up or your partys extinct,its up to them they started this mess so they can fix it ,right Ray!!!And remember Ray republicans ran both houses over 16 of the last 20 years so don't blame Democrates on this one,its all yours,enjoy!!

    December 4, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  12. CBR

    Stop this ridiculous conversation and sit down and hammer this out. It is not necessary to do this. No one is benefitting, least of all the Republicans. It is time Speaker Boehner to work together to keep this country moving forward. Just check the numbers – they do not lie.

    December 4, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  13. Marie

    Boehner could use the advice of a real "man" right about now with cajones the size of coconuts who actually was a Speaker worth their weight in gold and paycheck. Where is Nancy Pelosi when you need her? LOL

    December 4, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  14. Larry L

    Nothing about the GOP plan was new accept a willingness to extend the eligibility age for Medicare. The rest was simply protect the rich, make the middle-class pay the bill, and trash the healthcare law. These are the last days for the GOP.

    December 4, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  15. NVa Native

    You can't negotiate with liars and hypocrites like the GOP, and finally the President realizes these people are immoral and without honor. For the past four years the President has tried to compromise in good faith and the repubs have deceived him and the American people every time. The repubs deserve to be shunned until they prove they can be trusted.

    December 4, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  16. Oloaf

    Idiots reelected this madman back in, now live with it, your pres is trying to destroy america, only mindless sheep would believe a word out of his lying vile mouth

    December 4, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  17. TheVoice2

    The rich have bought themselves a party called the Republicans/GOP, and Grover Norquist is their "hit man"

    December 4, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  18. Oloaf

    I have noticed mostly dem bloggers here, must be they are on gov programs and sucking this once great country down, go get a job, be productive

    December 4, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  19. Critical Thinking

    The President has more important things on his plate to focus on : President Obama is planning a nice 21 day vacation from December 17 through January 6th, 2013. Year after year, the President has had to DELAY his Hawaii vacation due to the failure of Congress to get their work done on time. This year, the nation faces an impending fiscal cliff at the end of the year if Congress does not act.

    The Republicans know that the President cannot depart on his vacation until this is resolved and are using that to their advantage. Americans are speaking out about what that means to them. Show your support by using the Twitter hashtags #My2k and/or #MaiTaiDelay.

    December 4, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  20. Larry L

    @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.
    You've been using the term "dictatorial President" a lot lately. Fox News must have it in a sound bite. Let's be more creative... How about "socialist, community organizing, basketball-playing, not-a-regular-American, gun-hating, gay-loving, baby-killing, Muslim from Kenya"? I don't keep up with hate-media but I do get bored with your inability to string together more colorful terminology when you show disrespect for the President of the United States. Step up your game! Being a really good bigot takes effort!

    December 4, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  21. Woman In California


    I have noticed mostly dem bloggers here, must be they are on gov programs and sucking this once great country down, go get a job, be productive


    The ONLY job you EVER had was speading your lies and bad breath on your parents keyboard.

    As far as the fiscal cliff goes, I hope Boehner and all the white trash in his party are THROWN OUT and used as an example of what will happen, when you ignore the will of the American people. Good riddance.

    December 4, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  22. sene

    LIsten Orange man.... i don't think you understand we are on the president's side. and anything less than the original 1.4 he originally asked for that you shunned is unacceptable to the MAJORITY of people who voted for him.

    So take a long big dive off the cliff. Sincerly the MAJORITY.

    December 4, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  23. rs

    Poor baby! Look, the ACA was written and passed by members of both parties (although the GOP kept switching what they wanted), and signed by the President. It has even survived a Supreme Court examination. Surprise! It's the law of the land, and except for idiots on FOX there really were no surprises there.

    December 4, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  24. rs

    The GOP is doomed as long as they try to perpetuate tax laws and labor laws that work AGAINST the majority of Americans.

    December 4, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  25. Mick

    It's a fiscal curb at best. I can go as far as slope. Ignore the Repubs' weak negotiating attempts to get what they want. Obama promised the least of us a break, i.e., to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comforted. I'm in the top 2%; I can't afford a nickel extra in taxes? Gimme a break - I mean don't.
    That said, there are efficiencies to be had in Gov't. Firing Petraeus is a good start.

    December 4, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
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