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. Gary

    Let the cliff happen , evEry American reAlly knows this is not only not real but the Federal goverment is only coming up with ways to raise taxes on the middle class ,either from the cliff or the falling dollars as the money will only fall down from the top. No one will win we have a goverment for the fools by the fools .Only blaim ourselves America can no longer stand on its own let alone face what we have all given up. OUR FREEDOM and our childrens FREEDOM.

    December 11, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  2. andrew

    Welcome to the start of the new year to where we all final the pain our government has spent and is now taxing ALL of the american people. Lets just get it over with and do flat tax everything so we won't worry about it for anothere decade or two.

    December 11, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  3. farmwife

    Have the GOP congress members give up all their health insurnance and all the entitlements that go with the job and make them go out and pay for them out of their own pockets and see how it feels!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Easy for them to sit and want to cut Medicare and Social Security when they do not have to ever worry about getting older and being able to live. When they give up all their entitlements then they can cut Medicare and Social Security. Never going to happen!

    December 11, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  4. nnez9009

    Really Voice4? The debt was created through reduced revenue and unpaid wars...that is not everyone's debt, and nobody that has been directly and negatively affected by THOSE issues should have to feel the pinch of this issue. The top 1% of tax payers are currently paying the lowest percentage in the history of the country, they should be the ones feeling the pinch. There is something terribly wrong with this country when the average CEO makes more than 400 times that of their average paid worker, the average in the rest of the industrialized world falls between ten and fifteen times. THAT is disgusting, THOSE people should be feeling the pinch, not the family that struggles from check to check trying to make ends meet, not the unemployed worker that is now fighting just to live because their bosses were too greedy to provide healthcare. I don't understand how people can sit there and accept all this and say people like me are "socialists." It IS NOT Socialism, its called compassion. Perhaps you should take some lessons...

    December 11, 2012 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  5. james

    If the day ever comes where one side is more concerned about doing something substantial than about "winning" I will set myself on fire. Just swallow your pride, find the middle and geterdone already.


    December 11, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  6. LMD

    There will be a compromise – more importantly – we need STRONG AND STEADY INCREASES in private sector jobs to reduce the unemployment numbers.

    December 11, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  7. CanadaONE

    GOP going over the cliff – named the best action thriller of the year

    December 11, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  8. Steve


    If you want to retire early, fine. You pay for it. Not your fellow citizens.

    I sent a letter to both President Obama and Congressman Boehner – neither want to talk about GRADUALLY raising the GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIZED retirement age.

    Please call both the WH and your local Congressman/Congresswoman – GRADUALLY RAISING THE RETIREMENT AGE fixes the overextended entitlement system.

    December 11, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  9. miklea supporter, but

    Rich,rich just talk about rich. America change in bad way. It's to bad to be rich. JUST like USSR. Obama Little by little he destroy America. Good luck poor people.. You take from rich, but remember it's never going to be cover poor people.

    December 11, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  10. Yeoomala

    Of course Romney didn't even know what loopholes he would close or if he did, he wasn't stating them. SO, do all the republicans now have them figured out or are they just blowing smoke up the teepee hole?

    December 11, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  11. Scott Indpendent

    They'll reach an agreement. Regardless of which candidate won the last election, possibly the best thing, was that one of them won by a wide margin, sobering both parties to the reality of who has the upper hand in the negotiations, as opposed to them both thinking they represented the will of the majority.

    December 11, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  12. kayla

    2 unpaid wars by bush

    December 11, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  13. rooster

    Im tired of these scare tactics. theres no such thing as fiscal cliff. we all know that they can pass a law after jan. 1 making whatever tax rate and cuts they want. the negotiations are to do what? raise taxes and cut spending. so why is that considered going over a cliff or will be the cause of a recession, but the scheduled tax increases and spending cuts will? its all scare tactics.

    December 11, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  14. Carbonthief

    Everyone should indeed "pony-up" and feel the pinch as the above poster stated. Problem is, for over a decade the wealthiest Americans, the "2 percent," have been contributing much less RELATIVE to the rest of us,I.e. The middle and lower classes who pay a higher percentage of their income, regardless of it's source, to taxes than do the wealthy. Paying 30 plus percent in taxes hits the middle and lower class much harder as far as impact to lifestyle than it would to those earning over 250k. Its time for the wealthier Americans to pay their FAIR SHARE.

    December 11, 2012 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  15. Barbarajean martin

    Mr president when will there be a stemulus 4 social sec thank mr president. Carrollton,

    December 11, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  16. glorydays

    Reasonable adults will solve the problem

    December 11, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  17. Voice 3

    Voice 4.

    The truth hurts does it, and this thing affects everyone the same way does it, when you look under my tree and their tree tell me a lie and say see its the same. The gop don't have the market on reality, and I would argue that whatever reality they have created is based on a lie, like the one you just told. If this suffering should be shared by all then why are the republicans fighting so hard on behalf of two percent of the population, why haven't they signed the bill that extends the tax cut for the rest of America, you know the other ninety eight percent of America? I'll tell you why because their nothing but leverage for the republicans. So while you say it will affect all, tell that to the house and get the damn bill signed. Black mailing the president and he doesn't and shouldn't negotiate with these criminals.

    December 11, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  18. Fantasybaron

    I don't care how they find the money but my social security better be off the table since it will just be used to fund tax breaks for 180,000 ultra rich families that don't need the money.

    December 11, 2012 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  19. Goat

    I want to go over the cliff.

    December 11, 2012 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  20. Michael

    I hope we do go off the cliff and everyone who voted for Obama is affected by the tax increase. Those of us so voted for Romney can afford the increase. Small price to pay to show that Obama is the wrong choice for America. Our problem is not revenue....it is spending....stop the outrageous democrat sponsored spending and we won't need additional taxes.

    December 11, 2012 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  21. GI Joe

    Corporations profitted the last 12 years (since we started diving from a surplus to this) so corporations and wealthy should have to pick up the lion's share. THAT's fair.

    December 11, 2012 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  22. talkingisgood

    like that their is a back-n-fourth. its how its supposed to work. i dont need every battle played out in the press. i need these jokers to get something done. the reality, ya know what really needs to happen, is this is a gaint turd sandwich. it was constructed over 40 years. It is everyone's problem. not just the rich, not just the poor, not just the middle class. everyone. so guess what people, we all get to take a bite.

    December 11, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  23. John

    Giving tax break to the Rich doesn't created any Jobs, It hasn't for the last ten years and It isn't going to. All this Is a republican excuse that about 70% of the American p[people are trier of hearing. And SS and Medicare are not Entitlement because the American people been paying for this two for are life time. Why don't you people In Congress and the Senate just put back the Trillion of Dollars you have Borrow from It. And the Republican Party ,is no longer the Republican Party ,they have turn Into the Party to the highest bidder. They are nothing but sell out ,they have no clue what the other 98% need or do they care. I can't wait until 2014 get here so they can look for new jobs.

    December 11, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  24. plain&simple

    As long as there is resolution on some issues,we can move forward! Once the ice is thawed a gradual flow will begin....looks like that has begun. Now if the wingnutts can remain neutered by the speaker and responsible republicans do there share in speaking out for compromise ....there may be reason for optimism!!!! It's not so much the details at this point,politicians will always be looking to adjust this or that....It's the communicating that is refreshing after two years of dysfunction.

    December 11, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  25. jp

    I sure wish I could wiggle my way down to a 15% tax rate but nooooooo I'm stuck at 27%

    December 11, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
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