Boehner: Dems avoiding 'tough choices'

Dec. 22, 2012 at 12:54 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Saturday said negotiations with President Barack Obama on the so-called fiscal cliff are not going anywhere.

Obama and Boehner are in a stalemate over aspects of negotiations both to extend current tax rates, which expires at the end of the year, and to replace the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts, which go into effect Jan. 1, The Hill reported.

"I don't want tax rates to go up. Republicans don't want tax rates to go up," Boehner said in the weekly GOP address. "The best way to address our crippling debt is to make significant spending cuts and fix our tax code to pave the way for long-term growth and opportunity. This is an approach most Americans support, and it remains Republicans' highest priority. But we only run the House. Democrats run Washington."

Obama and Boehner have left Washington for Christmas but Obama said Friday he is committed to reaching a solution be Jan. 1.

"The challenge that we've got right now is that the American people are a lot more sensible and a lot more thoughtful and much more willing to compromise, and give, and sacrifice, and act responsibly than their elected representatives are. And that's a problem," Obama said.

Boehner said Obama and Democrats were avoiding the tough choices he and the House had put forward.

"The House has done its part to avert this entire fiscal cliff," he said. "On the 10th of May and again on Thursday, we passed legislation that would replace the 'sequester' with responsible spending cuts. We also passed a bill to stop all of the Jan. 1 tax hikes."

Boehner said he hopes a deal can be reached.

"We will continue to work with our colleagues in the Congress and the White House on a plan that protects families and small businesses," he said.

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