House speaker calls fiscal cliff progress 'disappointing'

J. Scott Applewhite/AP
House Speaker John Boehner says "no substantive progress" has been made in two weeks in “fiscal cliff” talks between the House and White House -- and that he was disappointed that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Thursday did not deliver any specific plan for cutting spending in a meeting at the Capitol.

The meeting with Geithner, which included Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., was “frank and it was direct,” said Boehner to reporters. Boehner also said he was making this negative assessment after talking with the president by phone Wednesday night, in what he described as “a very nice conversation,” that was also “direct, and straightforward.”

“I was hopeful we’d see a specific plan for cutting spending. We’d sought to find out today what the president is really willing to do,” said the Ohio Republican of the meeting with Geithner Thursday.

But he said no specifics were offered, and that “right now, all eyes are on the White House.”

"I'm disappointed where we are -- disapppointed what's happened over the last two weeks," said Boehner.

Stocks erased their early gains to turn mixed Thursday after Boehner spoke, according to CNBC. But the speaker insisted he was not walking away from talks and remained hopeful a deal can be reached, even though he complained Democrats have yet to get serious about spending cuts.

“Listen, this is not a game. Jobs are on the line. The American economy is on the line. And this is a moment for adult leadership,” said Boehner. “Campaign-style rallies and one-sided leaks in the press are not the way to get things done here in Washington,” a reference to Obama’s plans to stump for tax cuts.”

Boehner said he has made it clear Republicans would put revenues on the table to move things along – but that revenue was only on the table if there were serious spending cuts as part of this agreement. “It has to be part of the agreement,” he said.

“We know what the menu is – what we don’t know is what the White House is willing to do to get serious about solving our debt crisis,” he complained.

Asked if Republicans would consider a level of discretionary spending cuts as some downpayment to get to longer-range solutions on entitlement and tax reform, Boehner said, “There are a lot of options on the table -- including that one.”

But as for the amount of spending cuts, he said, “I don’t think it’s productive for either side to lay out hard lines in terms of what the size of the spending cuts ought to be. There are a lot of options on how you can get there.”

“There’s a framework that we’ve presented the White House two weeks ago -- (a) downpayment would include spending cuts and it would include revenue setting up a process for entitlement reform next year and tax reform next year,” said Boehner.
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.