Obama, Boehner speak by telephone after GOP counter-offer
December 11th, 2012
05:33 PM ET
10 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. TheVoice2

    I bet the counter offer is going to be "close unnamed loopholes sometime next year, we can't tell you which ones and gut medicare and SS"

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

    December 11, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  2. Voice4

    Enough liberal voive2. It all of our debt and everyone should feel the pinch.

    December 11, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  3. brian

    my counteroffer is that boehner moves to calcutta.

    December 11, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  4. Rb

    If lower tax rates create jobs and benefit everyone, then how have the salaries of the middle/working class stayed stagnant since the 60's while the salaries of the top earners has continued to grow.

    December 11, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  5. onlyfacts

    Let me guess, tomorrow we will all be calling Boehner an Idiot. Again!

    December 11, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  6. Jim

    @Voice4 – I disagree. The poor in the country didn't create the problem we are in. In order for the rich to "feel the pinch" taxes would have to go up a lot more than what Obama is asking.

    December 11, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  7. Thomas

    I thought wars were good for the economy .

    Thats what GW Bush and the GOP told us .

    December 11, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  8. Name

    let's try 1 year or a 6 month trial basis and see how the economy responsds

    December 11, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  9. jake

    i think everyone – regardless of party – that supported the bush era tax cuts and the two unfunded wars and the unfunded medicare drug benefirt should step to the front of the line and pay up.

    December 11, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  10. Floyd from Illinois

    Boehner seems utterly clueless that all spending bills AND tax laws originate in the House. That's Constitutional law, and he's pretending it's not.

    December 11, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  11. michael

    I say:

    1. Kill off Baby Boomers thus, minimizing fiscal liability for entitlement programs. This is easily done by raising Medicare entitlement age to say 70 and Social Security to say 67. Doing this ensures more Baby Boomers die sooner than later the result of being unemployeable, having access to affordable health care and living on the streets.

    2. Start more wars (do you hear this Republicans) – that way, America will create full time employment resulting from military spending.

    There, problem solved.

    December 11, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  12. Bob

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

    ESPECIALLY the uber-wealthy who have NOT been paying their fair share for decades.

    TheVoice2 is entirely correct.

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

    The GOP is folding on Cliff issues and, if McConnell and Graham are to be believed, imploding regarding the debt limit. The Prez needs to hang tough and call their bluff on both. There is a real risk/opportunity that the GOP is on the verge of destroying itself as a national party. This may be the Libertarians' once-in-a-lifetime chance.

    December 11, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  14. Data Driven

    "Steel declined to give any further detail on the new GOP proposal"

    "...we're still waiting for the White House to identify what cuts the president is willing to make..."

    Oh shut up.

    December 11, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  15. El Flaco

    Why are so many Americans receiving government support?

    Because of a massive failure of the private sector and of America's business leadership. If there were enough jobs, we wouldn't need unemployment compensation.

    If bank CEOs had been responsible, the global recession – which harmed every person on earth EXCEPT those bankers – would not have happened.

    If there were more jobs that paid a living wage, we wouldn't need food stamps.

    If the pharmaceutical, insurance, and hospital industries would change their business models, we wouldn't need Medicaid and Obamacare.

    The federal government is, in effect, subsidizing the crappy business leadership that modern America is suffering from by compensating their employees for their pathetically low pay.

    December 11, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  16. Kailash

    Yes – voice4 – but then we should let the Bush-era tax cuts expire for everyone. Maybe fade it out

    December 11, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  17. John

    The Conservatives want the cliff that's why they let it pass. They were sure they would get Romney in there to redirect the military cuts. If the taxes go up I hope they get the blame, because as it turns out they don't care about the 98 percent!

    December 11, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  18. lilred

    The GOP is playing the same game. Take from the poor so the rich can have more.The want to gut programs that thos who are close to retirement have pauid into all their lives (in my cas 46 years of working). Now they are threatening to ruin our economy further by going to war on the debt ceiling.

    December 11, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  19. Name

    Am I missing something. Its the top 1 percent who have been escaping the pinch. we are simply asking that their tax rate go back to pre bush rates. It not rocket science. Its plai and simple greed. Now they want to cut food stamp!!! My god! They r whacked!

    December 11, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  20. Kelby in Houston, TX

    The President's initial proposal was on paper and included specifics
    The GOtP has yet to put something on paper that includes specific details as to what will be cut and how taxes will go up.
    Is this a serious offer? AND WHY CAN'T STEEL PROVIDE SPECIFICS???
    Why is what they intend to cut such a big secret?

    December 11, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  21. guest 47 percent

    It is time for the 2% too look at what they can do for the country and not what the country can do for them.
    When it was time to get bail out money, they just took the money and run. Not much growling then.
    Now, that there is time to pay some back. There is so much back and forth.

    December 11, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  22. Natrldiver

    Well again I am not surprised. The Republicans continue to propose plans that are reaching across party lines I an attempt to avoid financial disaster. With each plan Obama and the far left Democrats just say that it does not meet their demands with no direction whatsoever. Obama keeps moving goal posts and pushing for more spending. This budget crisis is not that hard.

    1. Close loopholes in the tax codes
    2. Place a moratorium on earmarks
    3. Cut spending across the board. The Defense Department has already taken the largest chunk.
    4. Reduce pension plans of the White House. We the American people have had to cut back so they should also
    5. No more raising of the debt ceiling. We already have too much debt
    6 Stand firm on not giving the President a blank check. That is why we have a Constitution to limit the power of the President in the first place.

    December 11, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  23. Realtired

    I will be glad when the games or over and reality veer its head.

    December 11, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  24. California Gary

    I'll bet it's a real honey of an offer.

    December 11, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  25. Vijay

    I think we should have realized when W was in White house. At that time where are you John and Mitch ?. All of the sudden GOP wants to cut spending in medicare and medicaid. We need to do what Clinton did in 1993 reform which had created millions of new jobs and also entitlement cuts, at that time same republican's did not supported Clinton bill. We need similar bill now to tackle debt ceiling and W tax cuts. GOP always want to privatize medicare, SSN and medicaid. If we privatize all then, who would be benefited? it will hurt common people. People would know what happened to Enron all the 401 K savings were wiped out of the employees. I prefer entitlements should be part of Govt., so that we can enjoy retirement. My father used to work for federal govt back n India. He got retried in 1994, he is getting more money than what he used to earn during his days and he is enjoying his days with grand kids. We want the same, not other way.

    December 11, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
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