WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner strode onto the House floor Tuesday to address the fiscal cliff crisis, asking: “Where are the president’s spending cuts?”
“We’re still waiting for the White House to identify what spending cuts the president is willing to make as part of the balanced approach that he promised the American people,” Boehner said.
The fiscal cliff refers to across-the-board automatic spending cuts and tax hikes for all Americans set to go into effect at the end of the year if a debt deal doesn’t pass through Congress. Boehner’s remarks on Tuesday indicate a deal is still far off.
Obama has called for a balanced deal to pay down the debt that includes both new revenue and spending cuts.
But Boehner suggested Tuesday that Obama is only serious about tax increases for the wealthy and isn’t talking enough about spending cuts.
“The longer the White House slow-walks this process the closer our economy gets to the fiscal cliff,” the Ohio Republican said.
Obama and Boehner met to discuss a deal on the fiscal cliff over the weekend, but both parties have been mum about the specifics of what was discussed.
“A lot of people know that the president and I met on Sunday,” Boehner said. “It was a nice meeting. It was cordial.” (RELATED: Crossroads targets Democratic senators who are up for re-election in 2014 on fiscal cliff)
Boehner and the Republicans in the House offered a deal last week to Obama based on testimony given last year by President Clinton’s former chief of staff Erskine Bowles, including raising revenue without raising tax rates.
“The plan that we’ve offered is consistent with the president’s call for a balanced approach,” he said.
But Democrats quickly shot the deal down and said it’s not balanced enough, saying it must include increased tax rates for the wealthy. Republicans have offered tax revenue increases in the form of closing loopholes and deductions available to upper income earners.