House Republican leaders slammed President Barack Obama’s fiscal cliff plan again Wednesday morning, pledging that the GOP conference would remain in Washington through Christmas in order to get a deal.
Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor doubled down on their calls for President Barack Obama to put specific spending cuts on the table.
“It’s mainly tax hikes,” Boehner said of Obama’s plan. “The longer the White House slow-walks this discussion, the closer our economy gets to the fiscal cliff and the more American jobs are placed in jeopardy.”
“The President is walking us ever slowly to the cliff,” Cantor echoed. “We’re going to stay here right up until Christmas, through the time and period before the new year.”
The pair reportedly delivered a similar message to the Republican House conference earlier Wednesday, telling GOP members to prepare to stay in Washington, D.C., over the winter holiday break.
The Republican leadership’s message follows a new set of offers on the fiscal cliff deal. Earlier this week, the White House presented House Republicans with a new offer that reportedly reduced its call for new revenue to $1.4 trillion, down from the initial ask of $1.6 billion. In what appears to be a tactical manoeuvre , the new White House plan also included a call for corporate tax reform.
In an apparent response to the offer, Boehner gave a speech on the House floor Tuesday demanding that the President provide more specifics on spending cuts. Last night, the Speaker’s office said that House Republicans responded with a counter-offer, but declined to give specifics on what the offer entails.
For now, however, it appears as though both parties remain far apart on revenue. But the channels of communication are still open. Boehner confirmed Wednesday that he and the president spoke by phone last night and had a “frank conversation about just how far apart we are.”
*This post has been updated. The original version was posted at 10:02 a.m.