House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said President Obama has given House Republicans the “flexibility” to propose a “credible” and “specific” plan to avoid going over the fiscal cliff.
“Since that election four weeks ago, the president has — we’d had time, the president has given the Republicans flexibility to come up with a credible, specific plan. What they offered in return was an empty letter lacking in specifics,” Pelosi said on Friday at the Capitol.
“It was a further manifestation of the lack of agreement in the Republican caucus with division on the middle-income tax cut and no agreement on specifics in their plan. Not even Senator McConnell endorsed the House Republican proposal.”
House Speaker John Boehner said on Friday that taking the nation to the “edge” of the fiscal cliff is President Obama’s “deliberate strategy.”
“Eight days ago Secretary Geithner came here to offer a plan that had twice the tax hikes that the president campaigned on. It had more stimulus spending than it had in cuts, and in indefinite — an infinite increase in the debt limit, like forever,” Boehner said.
“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 Obama needs to respond with a counteroffer.
Pelosi disagreed with Boehner’s remarks.
“Our economy is moving forward, but it could be growing at a faster rate if the Republican leadership had taken up and passed some of President Obama’s job initiatives, including the Americans Jobs Act, and had passed the middle-income tax cut,” Pelosi said.
“Having done that, held off those initiatives, Speaker Boehner says, Democrats are slow-walking the economy to the a fiscal cliff. Yet this is the same Republican leadership that had the House in session barely a day, barely a full day of this week.”
Pelosi said she is “very satisfied” with the amount of communication she has had with President Obama during the fiscal cliff talks.
“I don’t necessarily talk about when and how many times I speak to the president, but I’m very satisfied with the communication that I have with the president, that my staff has with his staff and that what my — our lead person on this, Chris Van Hollen, his communication with the — with the executive branch,” she said.
“The president knows our views; he shares our values. We feel confident in any negotiation that he takes the lead in.”