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. Older Worker

    Leave the "Entitlements" alone. They are not "entitlements. We paid for Medicare and SS for many, many years of hard work and sacrifice. It's our money that they're playing with. Keep your dirty hands off Medicare and SS!

    December 11, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  2. Name

    The republicans and the rich made there money off a phoney war in iraq and created the majority of the deficit. Let there taxes go up and leave the middle class alone. We fight the wars not them.

    December 11, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  3. J'Cincinnati'Redd

    I think we are going to go over the cliff.
    Obama, has the house in a catch 22. What happend to my GOP? We let the tea party lead,and they have led us straight to hell!

    December 11, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  4. Ancient Texan

    Spending must be cut...period. The tax increase on the "rich" is a drop in the bucket and won't make an iota of difference. Cut spending, let the economy pick up steam by stopping the bullying of the small businessman and revenues will increase.

    December 11, 2012 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  5. Paul

    This so called fiscal cliff should be renamed 'Republican Cliff' because that is exactly what is happening.
    Get with it GOP... get this deal behind you and move on to other issues!

    December 11, 2012 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  6. richwood7

    We should all participate, that is whyt I support the fiscal cliff approach. It is not really a cliff, the cuts in defense are not that great, $50 billion out of an over $700 would still leave us with about half the worlds defense budget. The Bush tax cuts were a disaster then, now, and tomorrow..

    December 11, 2012 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  7. Foreverwar

    Maybe Speaker Boehner is finally beginning to realize that he is not actually the one who is President. He represents a Gerrymandered district, and Obama represents the country, I hope something gets worked out.

    December 11, 2012 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  8. G man

    Just say no to him and let iim and the dem party fall flat on there butt just dont put your names on the new deal walk away

    December 11, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  9. Over Taxed Payer

    Compromise should include restoring Clinton-era tax rates to those earning less than $250k - way less. All of the arguments for taxing the top 2% are equally valid for households at, say, 50k and up.

    "They were paying higher rates in the Clinton years and survived." True of $250k+ households - true of $50k+ households.

    "US history has many examples of a strong economy when tax rates were higher." Yep, and the tax rates were higher all around.

    "People in the bottom 98% are barely squeaking by in this economy." Maybe the bottom 25% are squeaking, but the 73% in between are doing at least as well as they did in the Clinton years. Those hit hardest by the economy wouldn't be affected by tax increases anyway. Do households earning $50k and above really want sympathy and understanding? Try getting it from households earning under $25k.

    "The top 2% should have lots of extra cash, and if they don't it's because they can't manage their money." Households earning $50k should have no problems except for those they brought on themselves. Households earning $100k should have lots of extra cash compared to those earning half as much. Living -within- our means is not a money-management problem - living -beyond- our means is. People earning $250k are entitled to live within THEIR means without having to budget for higher tax rates so the 98%, just as people earning $50k.

    "If we go over the cliff, the higher tax rates will result in people buying less which will hurt the overall economy." $250k+ households will also spend less, and donate less.

    Perhaps going over the cliff won't be so bad. On the other hand, a compromise that raise rates a little on most households will probably not make a big difference to anyone.

    December 11, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  10. Smeagel4T

    The GOP wants cuts, but refuses to provide any specific details about the cuts they want to the American people. They're hiding in the shadows when it comes to the cuts they want, hoping they can avoid taking the heat for being the ones proposing to destroy working class programs in order to fund tax breaks for the idle rich and the GOP's much-beloved corporate welfare programs. When is the GOP going to talk about cuts to their much-beloved corporate welfare programs?

    December 11, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  11. Name

    The republican party is a disgrace. You and your boys created the deficit in a phoney war in iraq about 11 trillion and wont givein to obama. Give the country a break.

    December 11, 2012 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  12. Dont matter

    It astounds me that the spending cuts are something the Republicans want, but insist that the president announce what the cuts should be. Why would any ask someone else for what they want. Wouldnt you, yourself, ask for what YOU want when negotiating? Its the Republicans that want cuts as part of the deal, why arent they ASKING for the cuts THEY want? What kind of negotiators are these Republicans?

    December 11, 2012 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  13. MIke G

    Voice4. You do realize that experts agree that increaing taxes on the remaining 98% will threaten an all ready fragile economic recovery? I bet dollars-to-dohnuts that Obama will roll back the remaining Bush tax cuts by the 3rd or 4th year of his term. So everyone will "feel the pinch" soon enough.

    December 11, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  14. Philip

    Let us go over the cliff

    December 11, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  15. Name

    ss was paid for by the workers for their lifetime. where did the money go? it is stolen.

    December 11, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  16. shawn

    Don't worry are great socialist leader Obama will lead us to soviet era food lines and five year economic bliss.

    December 11, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  17. Bob

    Voice, the rich buy whatever party is in power, get a clue ! We have been told about shared sacrifice yet Obama only wants people like myself to sacrifice. We are not in the financial situation we are in because people like my wife and myself received a tax break under Bush. Raising the tax rate back to 39 from 36 will generate about 90 billion a year according to Geitner. Our debt has averaged 1.25 trillion a year the last four years. New math or old, this does not add up to anything other than continued debt of over a trillion a year.

    December 11, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  18. Voice3

    Wow Voice4 you sound like Obama on the campaign trail.

    December 11, 2012 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  19. Logic N LA

    What makes no sense about this standoff is that a Republican proposed the temprary tax reduction and the temporary tax reduction was approved by Republicans. Now they say no to an extention for most people. Sounds like they lied in 2001 and 2003. as for this "comprimise" it's a joke- there is no new taxes and the loopholes they are countering with should be closed regardless!

    December 11, 2012 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  20. Diala Tila

    You want cuts; you propose the cuts. Why is it that Republicans say they want cuts but are afraid to propose those cuts.

    December 11, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  21. skeptic001

    100% of the country should be responsible for this debt, not just 2.

    December 11, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  22. Voice 5

    I didn't get bailed out like the Bank CEOs. My house is still underwater. I'm fairly sure the middle class has been feeling the pinch for a while.

    December 11, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  23. sativa619


    1) Kill the middle class by passing the tax burden on to them.
    2) Kill unions so CEO's don't have to pay fair wages.
    3) Eliminate 'entitlements' to further get rid of the poor, sick, etc (drain on the economy)
    4) Finally, get rid of the so called '47%' that really drags us down.
    5) Wake up one morning to find that all skilled and organized labor is gone, you don't have immigrants, and you dont have a workforce.

    Sure, makes sense to me.

    December 11, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  24. Old Artillery Man

    The middle class has already felt the pinch in stagnant wages and fewer jobs. Meanwhile the rich were increasing their wealth, much of it stashed in foreign banks.

    December 11, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  25. dfeaster

    We are getting closer but I expect Obama will wring some more out of Boehner.

    December 11, 2012 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
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