Leaders make progress toward a year-end deal
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 2012- Meeting several times over the last few days, President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, made progress toward a compromise on spending cuts and revenue increases to address the “fiscal cliff.”
Over the weekend, Boehner offered to accept tax rate increases on household income over $1 million. In his counteroffer Monday, Obama offered a proposal to raise rates on those earning over $400,000, instead of the previous $250,000 threshold.
"Any movement away from the unrealistic offers the President has made previously is a step in the right direction,” said Boehner spokesman, Michael Steel. “But a proposal that includes $1.3 trillion in revenue for only $930 billion in spending cuts cannot be considered balanced. We hope to continue discussions with the President so we can reach an agreement that is truly balanced and begins to solve our spending problem."
Boehner's latest proposal suggested $1 trillion in new revenue, partly from raising tax rates on income earners above $1 million, and $1 trillion in entitlement cuts. Obama's counteroffer proposed $1.2 trillion in new revenue, instead of his former offer of $1.4 trillion, as well as $1.2 trillion in spending cuts.
However, press reports indicate House Republicans believe the tactics the White House used in its proposal achieves more like $930 billion in spending cuts instead of more than $1 trillion.
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