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. johnk

    This standoff situation is not going to get resolved anytime soon. Reason, Obama has a very big ego and believes he knows best by taxing the rich this will solve all our debt problems. The house leader feels that by increasing the tax on the rich it will flatten the economy and further drive America into another recession. Both are wrong, it is not just taxation, it is excessive over spending, no budget, the continued borrowing and the continued over printing of bogus money the US treasury borrows against as well a Federal fractional funding. None of these conditions have been addressed, so we will see another deficit increase for the 73rd time. Bozos run our govt and are mostly financially inept!

    December 11, 2012 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  2. grwohio

    Looks like Obama will get the tax increase he has whined about for 6 years. We will still have a trillion dollar per year deficit after that happens. There is no future for our country with that kind of foolishness. Spending has increased from $2.7 trillion per year in 2007 to $3.5 trillion in 2012. That is a 30 percent increase during a period when millions lost jobs, took pay cuts and cut household spending. Returniing to 2007 spending levels would fix our deficit. We could then work on paying of the accumulated $16 trillion in debt. A serious leader would be thinking about this. I fear we do not have a leader that is capable of thinking in this manner.

    December 11, 2012 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  3. Florida dude

    These 2 men are talking about the single biggest issue facing our country. Not that there aren't other important issues, it is just that they all come in a distant second to this one. Our debt, and our continuing increase of it via deficit spending, is what can bring down this country. The same track we are on is what many other countries have tried. Specifically they are Spain, Greece, Italy, Great Britain, France, Cuba, Venezuela and some others. And in several ofthese countries today there is rioting in the streets, and in all of them there is extremely high unemployment (Spain 24.6%!), lower and lower economic standards for their citizens, lower and lower charitable giving, and no one is winning (except of course a few very wealthy who can avoid the problem of needing to work for their money because they have it already). And we have elected a man who gives lip service to reducing deficits and the debt but who believes in his heart of hearts that taxing and higher inflation will solve what the "greedy capitalists" have done to the country. That belief system is exactly what got the above mentioned countries into the mess they are in now and they are facing the music. And the people who are complaining the loudest about the solutions (lower spending) are the middle class and lower who have been helped by all the spending and who, frankly, have come to believe they are entitled to all they receive (low work requirements, high pensions, large vacations, high benefits,, etc). We need to realize that government didn't build this great nation and our economy, but it now is on a path to take us all down just as is happening in the above mentioned countries. If we continue to "vote our pocketbooks" instead of voting for what is good for the entire economy we will have extremely high unemployment and those who are most affected, the middle class and the poor, will be up in arms saying that the rich did it to them. Nope. They helped do it to themselves by voting in politicians who promise what our children and grandchildren can't provide.

    December 11, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  4. penguin

    Could someone please explain why closing loopholes is better than increasing rates if either approach means the top 1% pays the the same amount of taxes. I'd like to see both approaches- increase rates and eliminate charitable contribution.

    December 11, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  5. usuthuinduna

    @Voice4 Actually, no its not all of our debt. I didn't borrow it, nor do I think the people who did should have. Nor did I receive any of the money. If you think that, the Treasury now has a website set up to take voluntary donations to pay the debt down. Thanks.

    December 11, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Spending cuts need to be made to the military and corp. welfare before any social programs are touched. SS does not contribute to the deficit, not one penny, so leave that alone.

    December 11, 2012 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  7. Adam J

    2 unfunded wars by GOP president / Congress, making the war machines (haliburton and the defense contractors) billions. Then when Obama is elected, we need to get our debt under control by gutting medicare and medicaid, which is money that takes care of the sick, old and poor, and is also money that is immediately interjected BACK into the US economy. Tax breaks for the wealthy on the other hand is money moved offshore and hoarded by the 2%, who keep shoving the job creator thing down our necks. Newsflash: the GOP tax breaks for the wealthy under GWB were supposed to be temporary, and look at all those jobs they created during the last decade. Now compare to CLinton and his tax rates, and the job growth under a Dem with a House that wasn't run by tea partiers. The facts speak for themselves, and everyone screaming about the debt have no idea what they are talking about except what they hear on faux and how we are all destined for Greece. Give me a break, you guys are the ones drinking the koolaid

    December 11, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  8. Over the hill

    Karl Rove is out of hiding and airing more commercials paid for by the billionaires.... this alone tells you that the republicans/Boehner are still bowing to big business and not concerned about middle class.

    December 11, 2012 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  9. Name

    The cuts need to start with congress they should take a pay cut and get paid what other state employees get paid and only for the days they show up and work then something might get done

    December 11, 2012 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  10. RomnesiaIsCurable

    I thought Romney and Ryan loved old people so much. Now you know who is fighting for you, old l people.

    December 11, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  11. Namesuszie2

    Go get a job Voice 2 and experience what it take to earn a buck instead of robbing and freeloading off of Tax payers responsible for half of the Federal Revenue

    December 11, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  12. Eric the viking

    I would love to see the American leaders come to a logical and tenable solution. I want to enter 2013 confident in the US government as a whole, not just one party over the other. However, I do feel the GOP has less bargining leverage. It would be unwise of the GOP to remain overly stubborn to the end.

    December 11, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  13. JASON

    The GOP will never let America succeeds because all rethugs are genuinely evil

    December 11, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  14. Larry w

    The house needs to stop playing games, the president got 4 more years, like it or not. Mr speaker stop playing, get real cuz.

    December 11, 2012 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  15. bibleverse1

    Honestly, without increase revenue AND cuts in military, and restructure of medicare nothing will solve the problem of deficit and debt.

    December 11, 2012 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  16. J'Cincinnati'Redd

    While some of us saved and invested in our future through sacrifice, it seem like most of the people who support Obama, lived for the moment. they bought cars on credit and second mortgage homes out of greed and lack fiscal responsibility. Now they wont to blame the rich. And our nation is no better,the USA, today is a global grub looking for handouts.the world's greatest lender is now its biggest debtor. I dont blame all americans,its hard to keep your head above water and sometimes we sink. we also have inpoverished leadership.

    December 11, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  17. bibleverse1

    There needs to be enough cuts and taxes to eliminate deficit spending.

    December 11, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  18. Voice6

    So it's all about the rich. We spend a vast majority of our budget on medicare and social security, but it's the rich people that are being unreasonable. I mean why isn't it fair that rich people should hand over their hard earned cash for the entitlement programs. Let's just keep going down that path until there aren't enough rich people to fund those anymore and we can attack some other phantom problem.

    December 11, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  19. Rachel

    The Democrats are big liars and just want the tax increases and WILL NOT cut spending. They think cutting is not having the yearly increase. Voodoo cutting. Obama says after the tax increases we will cut spending next year. LOL This is what happens when you let the un-educated vote

    December 11, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  20. Neal

    VOICE4.........i say lets go over the CLIFF!!..im willing to pay more in taxes...how YOU??...TEAPUBLICANT!!!

    December 11, 2012 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  21. Jel

    The rich need to pay more, but the old and poor could probably use the medical system less. I rarely go to the doctor except for a yearly physical. When I do, I see either old overweight people, who have abused their bodies, or mothers with kids I'm guessing we all pay for. My wife and I work 6 days a week and have to drive many miles to our jobs, we live in the middle. I get tired of this country giving free handouts and the rich abusing the tax laws.

    December 11, 2012 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  22. Bhimrao

    GOP are still having a hard time accepting that Obama beat the pants off them in the election. People are with the president this time. So get the nation off the cliff guys and you the 'Ninny' senator, stop threatening the president, lest your own voters kick you out of the senate.
    Having gotten that off my chest, I want a give and take that will establish some kind of a peaceful modus operandi between the president and the congress and the national debt issue addressed..

    December 11, 2012 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  23. korkea aika

    closing loopholes is easy. if republicans get away with this, the filty-rich will just shift their money out of one thing into another. WE WANT HIGHER TAX RATES__________YES RATES____________on the rich. If republicans can close loopholes, then they can OPEN THEM just as easily, when no one is looking. GO OBAMA, DON'T GIVE INTO THE LOOSING REPUBLICAN LIES

    December 11, 2012 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  24. Name

    Can we just make a deal and put this country and those that are affected by our politicians actions above all the political bickering.

    December 11, 2012 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  25. george jones

    I think republicans should stand their ground, & refuse anything wh says because wh wont bend now or=ever

    December 11, 2012 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
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