WASHINGTON — Speaker of the House John Boehner said President Obama and congressional leaders have reached a “stalemate” in negotiations over the fiscal cliff.
“Right now, we’re almost nowhere,” Boehner said Friday at the Capitol.
The Ohio GOP leader was also asked if he thinks the White House is trying to “squeeze” him and other House Republicans. (TUCKER CARLSON AND NEIL PATEL: Congress should dive headlong off fiscal cliff)
“Most of you know me pretty well. What you see is what you get,” Boehner told reporters. “While I may be affable and someone that can work with members of both parties which I’ve demonstrated over the 22 years that I’ve been here, I’m also rather determined to solve our spending problem and to solve this looming debt crisis that is about to consume us.”
“There’s a stalemate. Let’s not kid ourselves,” Boehner said. “I’m not trying to make this more difficult. If you’ve watched me over the last three weeks, I’ve been very guarded in what I had to say because I don’t want to make it harder for me or the president or members of both parties to be able to find common ground. But when I come out the day after the election and make it clear that Republicans will put revenue on the table, I took a great risk.”
“And then the White House spends three weeks trying to develop a proposal, and they send one up here that calls for $1.6 trillion in new taxes, calls for a little — not even $400 billion in cuts. And … they want to have this extra spending that’s actually greater than the amount they’re willing to cut. I mean, it was not a serious proposal. And so right now we’re almost nowhere.”
Boehner said he would not accept any deal with the White House that raises current tax rates, holding his view that such a move would hurt small businesses in a fragile U.S. economy.
He remains open to raising revenue through tax reform, however, by closing loopholes and limiting deductions for upper income-earners.