Boehner Blasts White House: 'Can't Be Serious'

Geithner says no deal without tax hikes

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 2, 2012 8:13 AM CST | Updated Dec 2, 2012 1:16 PM CST

(Newser) – John Boehner is still grousing about the White House's opening bid in the fiscal cliff talks, lambasting it this morning as a "non-serious proposal" in a pre-taped interview with Fox News, picked up by Politico. "I was just flabbergasted. I looked at (Tim Geithner) and I said: ‘You can't be serious?’ I would say we're nowhere, period." Boehner suggests Obama and Co. "go back to the supercommittee. ... It's time to get serious." While he acknowledges "they won the election," he complains that "they must have forgotten that Republicans continue to hold a majority in the House."

Geithner, meanwhile, was appearing on CNN, defending his proposal as "a very good plan," and declaring that "there's not going to be an agreement without rates going up. If they are going to force higher rates on virtually all Americans because they're unwilling to let tax rates go up on 2% of Americans, that's the choice they're going to have to make." And the GOP isn't about to go there, he predicted: "I don't really see them doing that." Elsewhere on the Sunday dial:

  • Lindsey Graham on the cliff: "I think we're going over the cliff. It's pretty clear to me (the White House) made a political calculation." As for tax hikes, "I'll only do that if we do entitlement reform. And the president's plan, when it comes to entitlement reform, is quite frankly a joke. I don't think they're serious about finding a deal."
  • Claire McCaskill on Grover Norquist: "I feel almost sorry for John Boehner. There is incredible pressure on him from a base of his party that is unreasonable about this... You know, everybody’s elevated Grover. I met him for the first time this morning. Nice to meet him, but who is he? Why is he this guy who has captured attention in this?”
  • Speaking of Norquist, he was also on today: “It’s the president who is threatening to raise taxes on the middle class if he doesn’t stamp his feet and get his way. He should get into a room with C-Span cameras there and negotiate. Let's have it in front of C-Span cameras. And if the Republicans are being reasonable, we’ll see that. If they’re not, we’ll see that. Gotta have cameras in that room.”

House Speaker John Boehner speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, after private talks with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.
House Speaker John Boehner speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, after private talks with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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