House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday rejected a new White House offer aimed at averting the tax increases and automatic spending cuts that are due to take effect in three weeks and countered with a plan of his own, an indication that the two sides are starting to negotiate.
President Barack Obama and Boehner, an Ohio Republican, spoke by phone late Tuesday, the second time they’d spoken in three days, after a face-to-face session Sunday at the White House. Neither side released details of Tuesday’s conversation or the new offers.
One congressional source, speaking only on the condition of anonymity to talk even a little about the secret offers, said the White House had made a new offer Monday seeking $1.4 trillion in new tax revenue over 10 years, a slightly smaller request than its earlier insistence that any package raise $1.6 trillion in new revenue over 10 years.
Apparently, the president didn’t come down far enough, however, nor did he provide the kinds of detailed spending cuts Boehner is seeking.
Republicans have offered to raise $800 billion in new revenue.
After receiving the offer, Boehner sent back his own. “We sent the White House a counteroffer that would achieve tax and entitlement reform to solve our looming debt crisis and create more American jobs,” said Michael Steel, Boehner’s spokesman.
The White House declined to comment on either offer, both of which came after Obama and Boehner met Sunday for their first one-on-one meeting since the election last month.
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