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Congress / Congress

GOP Leaders Strike Delay Theme, Call on Obama to Negotiate Fiscal Cliff

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

photo of Ben Terris
December 5, 2012

It’s only Wednesday, and the House of Representatives will be shutting down the shop and heading home today, but it’s the president, according to Speaker John Boehner, who is stalling in fiscal-cliff negotiations, trying to run out the clock to force the GOP into making concessions.

“We can’t sit here and negotiate with ourselves,” Boehner said, calling on President Obama to come to the negotiating table.

Boehner said that if Obama did not like the GOP’s proposal on the cliff, roundly criticized by Democrats as too light on revenue, he should counter with something that has a chance of passing both chambers of Congress.

 

“We made a good-faith offer to avert the fiscal crisis and that offer included significant spending cuts and reforms, and included additional revenue,” he said. “Now we need a response from the White House.”

Democrats appear to have the upper hand in negotiations, benefiting from the easy optics of asking the richest to pay more while supporting middle-class tax cuts during the holiday season. Boehner’s comments mark the latest attempt by Republicans to change that narrative in Washington by accusing the White House of delay.

Some Republicans--but not all--have begun to acknowledge that their party has less leverage at the negotiating table.

While Boehner attempted to highlight the increased revenue coming from the wealthiest Americans that the GOP proposal would produce, just minutes later, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor chastised the White House for an “obsession” with raising taxes.

“We can’t just keep borrowing money, raising taxes and expect the problem to go away,” Cantor said.

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