News / USA

Boehner Pushes His Own Tax and Spending Bills in Standoff with Obama

Fiscal Cliff Boehner
Fiscal Cliff Boehner
Cindy Saine
Republican House Speaker John Boehner is holding a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives late Thursday on an alternative to the compromise proposal to avert massive tax increases and spending cuts put forward by Democratic President Barack Obama.  
 
As the week began, congressional aides said the president and the Speaker appeared to be very close to reaching an agreement to avert a number of measures - including automatic tax increases and severe spending cuts known as the sequester - due to take effect January 1.  
 
But now, the two men have stopped negotiating and Boehner says he is pushing ahead with his own two bills on a tax cut and spending cuts, which he is calling "Plan B."
 
"Today we will vote to protect as many American families and small businesses as possible from the tax hikes that are already scheduled to occur," he said. 
 
Boehner's bill would raise taxes only on annual incomes of more than $1 million.  Democrats are rejecting the plan, saying it will not do anything to solve the country's fiscal problems.
 
Senate Democrats have already passed a bill that would raise taxes on those Americans earning more than $250,000 a year, and Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid says that is the bill he wants Boehner to send over from the House.
 
"Until Republicans take up our bill in the House, the one that has passed here, there is nothing to discuss.  We are not taking up any of the things that they are working on over there now," he said. 
 
President Obama has said he would veto Boehner's $1 million dollar income threshold bill, and has called for the Speaker to quickly come back to the negotiating table before time runs out.
 
Democratic lawmakers say that Boehner's vote on "Plan B" is merely a political tactic to try to get the president to give more ground on spending cuts and taxes.  Democratic Senator Charles Schumer:
 
"Basically, 'Plan B' is not taken seriously by anyone in America except a small number in the Republican caucus," he said. 
 
Economists have warned that if the president and Congress do not agree to avert the "fiscal cliff" measures, it could send the U.S. economy back into recession.  
 
Mark Vitner, the senior economist at Wells Fargo Bank, said  "I think this is all political theater in that it’s very difficult for the Republicans to come to an agreement before the end of the year.  So we are likely to see the Bush tax cuts expire, and then have them reinstated early next year."
 
Vitner says he believes that the broad outlines of a deal will be known soon, but that nothing will likely be done on it until after Christmas.  He said a final vote may not occur until January 2 or 3, before this current session of Congress ends and the newly-elected Congress comes in.  
 
Veteran political analyst Larry Sabato said the current standoff between Speaker Boehner and President Obama reflects a deeper divide in the country.
 
“This is a reflection of the deep polarization that exists in America and the fact that the two parties really have very little in common.  It’s not just a personal thing between President Obama and Speaker Boehner.  It’s more that they represent two clearly distinct philosophies of government and it’s awfully difficult to compromise your basic principles," he said. 
 
Throughout the long debate on taxes and spending, Democrats have insisted on raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, and Republicans have insisted on significant cuts to social programs that Democrats hold dear.  With only 11 days left until the end of the year, Americans are watching to see if the two major parties can reach a compromise.

You May Like

African States Push to Keep Boko Haram Offline

Central African telecoms ministers working with Nigeria to block all videos posted by Boko Haram in effort to blunt Nigerian militant group's propaganda More

Falling Oil Prices, Internet-Savvy Youth Pose Challenge for Gulf Monarchies

Across the Gulf, younger generations are putting a strain on traditional politics More

Philippines Call Center Workers Face Challenges

Country has world’s largest business process outsourcing, or BPO, industry, employing some one-million workers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: MchL from: the Middle of the USA
December 20, 2012 6:49 PM
I didn't realize John Boehner made all the decision for this country.

by: Phillip Durkin from: Lexington, KY
December 20, 2012 4:53 PM
In my humble opinion, our elected leaders are a bunch of greedy, self-serving bums. Only an idiot spends more than they take in. Its Economics 101. Yet year after year these self appointed messiahs spend, without regard to the consquences. If I had my way they would all be in prison for what they've done to this Country

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More