Boehner: No progress in fiscal cliff talks

By Andrew Taylor

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Dec. 8 2012 11:34 a.m. MST

The Republican leader pointed out that he had offered on Monday to raise tax revenues by $800 billion over the next decade by ending or reducing tax breaks, particularly on the wealthy. The Republican plan would cut spending by $1.4 trillion, including by trimming annual increases in Social Security payments and raising the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 67.

"When is he going to take a step toward us?" Boehner asked of Obama.

At the White House, officials used Friday's mixed jobs report, with its modest growth in hiring, as an argument to embrace Obama's plans to avoid the fiscal cliff with a package of rate hikes for the rich, public works spending and refinancing help for struggling homeowners.

"Most pressing, President Obama has proposed, and the Senate has passed, an extension of middle-class income tax cuts that would prevent the typical middle-class family from facing a $2,200 tax increase at the beginning of next year," said Alan Krueger, chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers.

Obama met at the White House on Friday with top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi, discussing a number of issues, including the fiscal cliff, a White House official said.

Tax cuts enacted during President George W. Bush's first term are scheduled to expire Dec. 31, automatically boosting tax rates to levels in place under President Bill Clinton. Obama wants those increases only to affect households with earnings of more than $250,000.

Obama is insisting that rates for upper income taxpayers rise and also wants permanent authority to prevent Congress from blocking increases in the nation's borrowing limit. The government is on track to hit its $16.4 trillion debt ceiling later this month, though the Treasury could extend the day of reckoning to February.

Separately, Pelosi, D-Calif., called on GOP leaders to schedule a vote on Senate-passed legislation to hike the top two tax rates for individual income exceeding $200,000 and family income over $250,000.

"Why are you not bringing this to the floor?" Pelosi said. "Is this a forever, forever protection of the wealthiest people in the country at the expense of the middle class?"

Associated Press writer Matthew Daly in Arlington, Va., contributed to this report.

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS