Boehner: ‘The President Has an Obligation to Give a Plan to Congress’

By Patrick Burke | December 5, 2012 | 11:48 AM EST

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

( -- Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) said that if President Barack Obama does not agree with the proposal submitted by the House Republicans to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, then “he’s got an obligation to send one to the Congress.”

“This week we made a good faith offer to avert the fiscal crisis, and that offer included significant spending cuts and reforms, and it included additional revenue and, frankly, it was the balanced approach that the president’s been asking for,” Boehner said during a Capitol Hill press conference on Wednesday. “Now we need a response from the White House. We can’t sit here and negotiate with ourselves.”

“And if the president doesn’t agree with our proposal and our outline, I think he’s got an obligation to send one to the Congress and a plan that can pass both chambers of Congress,” he said.

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On Monday, Boehner and other House Republican leaders sent a letter to President Obama that called for long-term spending cuts in Medicare and Medicaid, as well as $800 billion in new tax increases over 10 years.

Boehner says these tax increases will only affect the wealthiest Americans, and take the form of “loopholes and deductions.”

House Speaker John Boehner, President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. (AP photo)

“Now the revenues we’re putting on the table are going to come from, guess who? The rich,” said Boehner. “There are ways to limit deductions, close loopholes and have the same people pay more of their money to the federal government without raising tax rates, which we believe will harm our economy.”

The proposal put forth by House Republicans is an attempt to avoid the so called “fiscal cliff,” that will come at the start of 2013 when the Bush tax rates expire and automatic spending cuts (sequestration) are scheduled to take effect.

Around the same time that Boehner spoke in Washington on Wednesday morning, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) sent out the following four Tweets, reprinted here as he wrote them:

“I share the frustration of Americans lamenting the lack of progress in negotiations to avoid a massive tax increase on mid.-class families.”

“But for insight into why negotiations have been tough, consider the failure of the disabilities treaty at the hands of the Tea Party.”

“Those are the same Republicans w/whom Democrats are supposed to find agreement to protect mid.-class families from a Jan. 1 tax increase.”

“We must give certainty to middle-class families now. All the House has to do is take up the Senate-passed, middle-class tax cut bill.”