Boehner: 'We're still waiting' for the president, Democrats to propose cuts

John Boehner walks to the House floor to deliver remarks about negotiations Tuesday. John Boehner walks to the House floor to deliver remarks about negotiations Tuesday. J. Scott Applewhite/AP
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, took the unusual move on Tuesday of taking to the House floor to cajole President Obama and Democrats to propose specific spending cuts they would agree on as part of a plan to avert the fiscal cliff.

“The president and I met on Sunday at the White House. It was a nice meeting, a cordial meeting,” Boehner said. “But 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’ he promised the American people.”

The move came a day after Obama on Monday used a campaign-style appearance outside Detroit to press Boehner and congressional Republicans to pass a bill freezing middle-class tax rates -- but not the soon-to expire rates on the rich.

After Boehner’s talk, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., spoke in the chamber. She thanked Boehner for bringing an update on the nation’s fiscal challenges to the House floor. She then proceeded to call on House Republicans to allow a vote on Obama’s plan -- already passed by the Senate -- to freeze the rates set to expire at the beginning of the year for the middle class, but let the rates expire at upper incomes.

Pelosi also took issue with Boehner’s claim that Obama and Democrats have not identified spending cuts that they can support.

Boehner said on the House floor that the plan Republicans have offered is consistent with Obama’s call for a “balanced approach” that includes cutting spending.

“Last week, Republicans made a serious offer to avert the fiscal cliff, based on testimony last year by President Clinton’s former chief of staff, Erskine Bowles. As Mr. Bowles himself said on Sunday, ‘We have to cut spending,’ ” said Boehner.

Boehner then asked, “Where are the president’s spending cuts? The longer the White House slow-walks this process, the closer our economy gets to the cliff.”

He added, “Here’s what we do know: We know the president wants more new ‘stimulus’ spending and an increase in the debt limit without cuts or reforms. That’s not fixing our spending problem. It’s making it worse.”

And Boehner said that even with raising tax rates on many small-business owners -- how Republicans have described allowing the tax rates to rise on incomes above $250,000 a year -- “we would still have red ink as far as the eye can see.”

“That’s not fixing the problem -- it’s making it worse and hurting our economy,” the speaker said.

Boehner concluded by saying, “I’m hopeful we will reach an agreement.” But he said, “the American people sent us here to work together toward the best possible solution, and that means cutting spending.”
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

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

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


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