Obama and Boehner Exchange New Proposals
By BRIANNA EHLEY,
Posted: December 11, 2012
The White House and House Speaker John Boehner swapped a second round of budget proposals on Tuesday to avoid sending the economy over the fiscal cliff. The latest offer from the White House included $1.4 trillion in new revenue, down from its initial request of $1.6 trillion, according to a GOP staff member.
Boehner's office sent the White House a counter offer Tuesday afternoon that "would achieve tax and entitlement reform to solve our looming debt crisis and create more American jobs," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said, adding that the speaker is "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 GOP declined to disclose the details of the proposal. - Read more at The Wall Street Journal
HOW THE CLIFF COULD STEAL CHRISTMAS
Don’t count on a fiscal cliff deal before Christmas, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters Tuesday after House Speaker John Boehner and the White House took turns accusing the other side of stalling progress on cliff negotiations…again.
Boehner blamed the slowdown on the president after he recieved the White House proposal, saying he had yet to put forward any specific details on spending cuts. “The longer the White House slow walks this process, the closer our economy gets to the fiscal cliff.”
The back-and-forth continued when White House Press Secretary Jay Carney immediately dismissed Boehner’s remarks at a press briefing Tuesday afternoon, calling the speaker’s claims “inaccurate” saying it is "simply incontestable" that the Obama administration has put forth a plan to avert the fiscal cliff that includes spending cuts. He added that Republicans had yet to offer any details of their own on how to raise more revenue from taxes, "and it would be helpful if they did." - See the speaker’s remarks here
CLIFF CRUSHES BUSINESS CONFIDENCE Businesses and consumers are starting to freak out over the fiscal cliff. The National Federation of Independent Business index of small business optimism plummeted 5.6 points to 87.5 in November, one of the lowest levels the index has been in 26-year history. The NFIB noted that the only time the index has been lower was during the great recession in 2008-2009.
“Nearly half of owners are now certain that things will be worse next year than they are now. Washington does not have the needs of small business in mind. Between the looming ‘fiscal cliff,’ the promise of higher healthcare costs and the endless onslaught of new regulations, owners are more pessimistic. We are forced to ask: is this the new normal?” said Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB chief economist in a statement. See the survey here
SANDY RELIEF THROWN INTO FISCAL FIGHT The $60.4 billion in Hurricane Sandy relief that the White House has requested was flung into the fiscal battle Tuesday, when GOP lawmakers questioned whether Northeastern states devastated by the storm needed that much money.
“Who’s analyzed this? Nobody to my knowledge has in a very sophisticated way laid out a plan,” Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.), the ranking Republican on the Budget Committee, said of the request. “And if it does take that much money, I would suggest we’d do better to approve what we know we need right now, and then come back later with more documented requests for more money.”
The Obama administration requested the funding on Friday, and had previously discussed including it in a broader fiscal cliff plan. - Read more at The Hill
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