It seems like a start anyway. John Boehner and the White House are at least talking about talking in regard to a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, reports the Wall Street Journal.
- Boehner: “For purposes of forging a bipartisan agreement that begins to solve the problem, we’re willing to accept new revenue, under the right conditions.”
- Also from Boehner: “Mr. President, this is your moment. We’re ready to lead, not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans.”
- Joe Biden: "We're going to have to compromise too. It's not like we're going to go in and say this is our deal. Take it or leave it."
- President Obama called Boehner, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, and Nancy Pelosi and pitched a similar theme, reports the Washington Post, which refers to Boehner's position as a "quick pivot" in its headline.
- The New York Times says Boehner struck a "conciliatory tone" that might be enough to get both sides talking.
- At the conservative Hot Air blog, Allahpundit thinks the media is "hyperventilating" given that Boehner has said much the same before. "Today’s comments are Boehner’s way of preempting Obama and signaling to the public that he’s not opposed to all deals involving more tax revenue, just ones that involve rate hikes. His problem is that Obama 'wins' a stalemate here because inaction means the current rates will lapse automatically."
- The Hill doesn't see Boehner as being conciliatory, either. Rather, he has "moved swiftly to claim an equal mandate with the president," it writes, and he's still not budging on higher tax rates. Boehner also shot down Harry Reid's hope to get this settled in the lame-duck Congress. Boehner sees a "down payment" possible at best in the next two months, something that will lead to a larger deal in 2013.
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