Boehner tells Geithner, 'You can't be serious'

December 2, 2012 - 11:33 AM
Fiscal Cliff

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, after private talks with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on the fiscal cliff negotiations. Boehner said no substantive progress has been made between the White House and the House" in the past two weeks. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner says he was "flabbergasted" when Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner (GYT'-nur) pitched the White House plan to save the nation from the "fiscal cliff."

Boehner tells "Fox News Sunday" that after Geithner briefed him privately on Thursday, he looked at Geithner and said, "You can't be serious." Boehner called it "silliness" that the White House was, among other things, asking Congress to give up its power to set the nation's debt limit.

President Barack Obama's plan calls for $1.6 trillion in higher taxes over the next decade. Boehner, R-Ohio, says he's willing to rethink tax deductions for the wealthiest Americans, but declined to provide further specifics. The White House says the GOP tax proposals so far wouldn't pull in as much revenue as they claim.