John Boehner Says Latest White House Fiscal Cliff Proposals Are 'Not Serious'

The White Horse

John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the US House of Representatives, has dismissed the latest White House proposals on the fiscal cliff negotiations, declaring them "not serious".

Speaking to the media at the Capitol, Boehner claimed that "a similar amount of revenue" could be raised from cutting tax loopholes and deductions as from the tax increases being discussed by the White House.

"Increasing tax rates draws money away from our economy," Boehner said, in response to a question.

The White House plan envisaged $1.6tn to be raised from new taxes, in exchange for $400bn in cuts to entitlement programs. But Republicans claimed that the proposals put forward by the treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, were identical to those that were presented by President Barack Obama at the White House earlier this month.

Asked if the GOP's position was just posturing, Boehner said:

There's a stalemate, let's not kid ourselves. I'm not trying to make this more difficult... at the moment we're almost nowhere.

Boehner was then asked: Do you think the White House is trying to squeeze you? Boehner said he was always ready to work with the other party. But when asked what the GOP wanted to see cut from entitlements, Boehner was no more forthcoming than usual:

You can look at our budget for the last two years, there are plenty of specific proposals.

A reporter then pointed out that even under the fabled Paul Ryan budget plan, cuts to Medicare wouldn't take affect for years, and didn't Boehner want something more quickly? Boehner did not answer.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Richard Adams, for guardian.co.uk on Friday 30th November 2012 19.58 Europe/London

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