News / USA

Obama, Boehner Confer by Phone on Fiscal Negotiations

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio is pursued by reporters as he walks to the House floor to deliver remarks about negotiations with President Barack Obama on the fiscal cliff, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio is pursued by reporters as he walks to the House floor to deliver remarks about negotiations with President Barack Obama on the fiscal cliff, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
U.S. President Barack Obama and the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner conferred by telephone late Tuesday.  The conversation came as the White House and congressional Republicans exchanged new offers and counter-offers in fiscal negotiations. 
 
White House officials confirmed the conversation after details emerged of a new administration offer to try to move negotiations forward.
 
A White House aide said the offer went to Capitol Hill on Monday, a day after the president and Boehner had their first face-to-face talks in a month. 
 
House Republicans responded with a counteroffer, leading to the conversation Obama and Boehner had Tuesday evening.
 
The latest exchanges came amid increasing urgency for a deficit reduction deal to avert $600 billion of expiring tax cuts, and government spending cuts mandated by a deficit and tax deal in 2011.
 
Tuesday began with Boehner's remarks on Capitol Hill accusing President Obama of dragging out the negotiations.
 
“A lot of people know that the president and I met on Sunday.  It was a nice meeting.  It was cordial.  But we are still waiting for the White House to identify what spending cuts the president is willing to make, as part of the ‘balanced approach’ that he promised the American people," he said. 
 
But at Tuesday's White House news briefing, press secretary Jay Carney asserted it was Obama who has made specific proposals for budget reductions, not the Republicans.
 
“The president, unlike any other party to these negotiations, has put forward detailed spending cuts, as well as detailed revenue proposals," he said. 
 
Congressional aides said the latest White House offer involved $1.4 trillion in new revenue.  That is a $200-billion decrease from the figure President Obama put on the negotiating table a month ago.
 
Republicans had earlier countered with an $800-billion offer.  Boehner has been insisting that higher taxes President Obama wants wealthy Americans to pay for deficit reduction would stifle job creation and slow economic growth.
 
In an interview with Barbara Walters of ABC News, Obama said he is "pretty confident" that Republicans will agree on a plan that will extend tax cuts for middle class Americans, saying the "framework" of a potential deal is "pretty straightforward."
 
Another difficult issue in the negotiations involves the struggle over raising the U.S. debt ceiling, the amount of money the government is legally allowed to borrow.
 
With another debt ceiling increase required early next year, President Obama insists he will not allow a repeat of last year's struggle over the issue which led to a first-ever downgrading of the U.S. credit rating.
 
It remains to be seen whether Tuesday's developments will lead to more substantial movement in the talks.
 
A Boehner aide said Republicans are still waiting for Obama to identify specific spending cuts the administration is prepared to make, and repeated the assertion that the president is "slow-walking" the negotiating process.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid