House Speaker John Boehner said on Friday that going to the “edge of the fiscal cliff” is President Obama’s “deliberate strategy” in negotiations between the White House and congressional leaders.
“Four days ago we offered a serious proposal based on testimony of President Clinton’s former chief of staff. Since then there’s been no counteroffer from the White House. Instead, reports indicate that the president has adopted a deliberate strategy to slow-walk our economy right to the edge of the fiscal cliff,” Boehner said at the Capitol on Friday.
Last week, Secretary Tim Geithner proposed a $1.6 trillion White House plan that includes raising taxes on families making over $250,000 per year and giving President Obama the power to unilaterally increase the nation’s debt limit.
Both Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized the plan. McConnell challenged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to hold a vote on the president’s plan in the Senate but he declined.
“Nothing is going to happen if the president insists my way or the highway,” said Boehner.
Geithner recently said that the White House is “absolutely” ready to go over the fiscal cliff if House Republicans do not agree to raise tax rates for families making over $250,000 annually.
“I think that’s reckless talk,” Boehner said on Friday of Geithner’s comments.
The Speaker re-stated his position that raising taxes on small businesses would hurt the economy.
In response to the White House’s proposal, House Republican leaders sent a letter to President Obama on December 3 with a new offer to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.
Earlier this week, Boehner spoke with President Obama on the phone.
“The phone call was pleasant but was just more of the same. Even the conversations that the staff had yesterday — just more of the same. It’s time for the president, if he’s serious, to come back to us with a counteroffer,” Boehner told reporters.