WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said on Tuesday that President Barack Obama still has not gotten serious about dealing with the impending “fiscal cliff,” saying the White House has yet to offer anything that can pass muster with the GOP.
The fiscal cliff is the combination of mandatory budget cuts and tax increases that is set to kick in at the start of next month.
Democrats and the president intend to maintain the lower Bush-era tax rates for nearly all of the country, while letting them increase for the top 2 percent of earners, covering income above $250,000. Republicans are insisting that all the tax cuts remain in place.
In Obama’s most recent offer, the White House suggested raising some $1.6 trillion in taxes, while cutting about $400 billion from Medicare and investing more cash in economic stimulus.
Although Boehner and Obama met over the weekend for discussions that both sides described as positive, Boehner did not sound encouraging in his House floor remarks at noon on Tuesday.
“We know that the president wants more stimulus spending and an increase in the debt limit without any cuts or reforms,” Boehner said, referring also to the nation’s borrowing limit, which it is likely to hit soon in the new year. “That’s not fixing our problem. Frankly, it’s making [it] worse.”