Boehner says "fiscal cliff" negotiations are at a stalemate

By Sarah Gonzalez

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 2012-  Negotiations between the White House and Congress on finding a compromise to avert the “fiscal cliff” of sequestration and tax hikes set for the end of year are at a “stalemate,” the House Republican leader said Friday.  

“There's a stalemate. Let's not kid ourselves,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said during a press conference today. 

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The Speaker said President Barack Obama's proposal, which Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner presented on Thursday, spends more money than it saves. He claimed the White House plan included more than $1.6 trillion in new taxes with $400 billion in spending cuts. 

“The White House took three weeks to respond with any kind of proposal and much to my disappointment it wasn't a serious one,” Boehner said today. 

He reaffirmed his stance that Republicans are willing to raise revenue through eliminating tax deductions and loopholes, without raising rates. 

Meanwhile, in Hartford, Pennsylvania, President Obama spoke about the “stalemate” during a visit to the Rodon Group Manufacturing Facility, focusing heavily on taxes. 

“Both parties agree that we should extend the middle-class tax cuts. We've got some disagreements about the high-end tax cuts, right?” he said. He added that the Senate already passed a bill to keep income taxes from going up on middle-class families and accused House Republicans of not wanting “to raise taxes on folks like me.” 

“I think I can pay a little bit more,” he said, claiming 98 percent of Americans make $250,000 a year or less and 97 percent of small businesses make $250,000 a year or less, so the Democrats proposed tax rates would impact only a small number of Americans. 

“The sooner Congress gets this done, the sooner our economy will get a boost,” Obama said. “And it would then give us in Washington more time to work together on that long-range plan to bring down deficits in a balanced way.”

Boehner used his press conference today to respond to the president's comments, claiming “the president's tax increase would be another crippling blow” for small businesses, “while doing little to nothing to solve the bigger problem here, which is our national deficit and our national debt.”

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