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Boehner: 'God only knows' how fiscal cliff will be avoided



Published: Fri, December 21, 2012 @ 5:03 p.m.

WASHINGTON (AP)

Stocks fell, congressional leaders squabbled and the fiscal cliff drew implacably closer.

"How we get there, God only knows," said House Speaker John Boehner, referring Friday to the increasingly complicated attempts to beat the Jan. 1 deadline and head off the perilous combination of across-the-board tax hikes and deep spending cuts that threaten to send the economy into recession.

Progress was invisible one day after House Republican rebels thwarted Boehner's plan to prevent tax increases for all but the nation's million-dollar earners. And while neither House is expected to meet again until after Christmas, officials in both parties said there was still time to prevent the changes from kicking in with the new year.

Yet they pointedly disagreed which side needed to make the first move.

"It's time for the speaker and all Republicans to return to the negotiating table," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. Late Friday, Reid was meeting with Obama at the White House, and Obama was to make a statement.

He said that, for now, Boehner should allow a vote on legislation that would block all tax increases except for individuals making more than $200,000 and couples making $250,000 - the position that Obama carried through his successful campaign for re-election.

Reid said it would pass the House with votes from lawmakers from both parties, and, separately, some Democrats said it was possible similar legislation may yet be launched in the Senate.

Moments later, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Democrats had "spent all day yesterday defeating" the legislation in the House - even though Boehner himself said it had been deep-sixed by GOP opposition.

Countering Reid's offer, McConnell said the Senate should pass legislation extending tax cuts at all income levels and requiring a comprehensive overhaul of the tax code. Beyond that, he said, ""Look: It's the president's job to find a solution that can pass Congress. He's the only one who can do it."

Rhetoric aside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 121 points in what analysts said was a reaction to the events in the capital.


Comments

1IslandMike(752 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

It's BOTH parties fault. Boehner and the Repubs need to raise taxes on those making over $250k annually, but Obama and the Dems need to come forth with some across the baord spending cuts. A 5th grader could figure this out, but unfortunately everyone in Washington is acting like a 5th grader.

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2commoncitizen(961 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

how can the average tax payer "spend" their way out of debt? They can not, so why does the government think they can? If we spend more money coming into the household from jobs (if no raises are given we STILL have to live within these means) we will have to file for bankruptcy --so why can the government get away with it??

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3JoeFromHubbard(1038 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

Raise taxes on those making over $200k ?

That is a rather low threshold for higher taxes. No wonder the Republicans can not accept it.

However, it is starting to look like the Republicans can not even accept some of themselves. Divided they fall. Open your wallets.

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4charms(228 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

Saving the "middle class" is just a specious argument - designed to lull everyone into some false sense of security.

I believe that the middle class does not really exist anymore, except for government jobs.

Have we reached the point in this country where the only job worth having IS a government job?

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5papa1(660 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

obama has reached out and compromised to try to get a deal. his latest attempt was to ask the repubs to at least vote to keep the tax cuts for the middle class. if not there's a good chance of sliding back into recession. the repubs will let the economy suffer and allow all the tax cuts to expire rather than raise them on the upper 2%. what does that tell you people? and every middle class person that voted for romney will also get screwed. how does that make you repubs feel? a columnist described the repub party as a tribe of warring factions, and it's true. i see basicly two factions. i see the repubs who only want to protect the uber rich and the nutjob far right extreme teabaggers (racist?) who will not let obama succeed at anything. if he found a cure for cancer they would say no. the repub party is going to pass into the dustbin of history if those with clear heads don't do something and soon.

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6AnotherAverageCitizen(1174 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

Charms,

Thats just the way busineesses want it. They want high unemployement so they can have jobs for the lowest bidder. How many times have I read on these boards about repubs saying "just be glad you have a job".

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7commoncitizen(961 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

papa, The Democratic Senate has NOT passed a budget in over 3 years and you say this problem is the fault of the Republicans? What fantasy land do you live in.
toy, you stated it all very well. The only problem will be is that the average taxpayer will be the ones suffering because of it.

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8BrothaLove(81 comments)posted 1 year, 8 months ago

Toycannon

If Mr. Obama is to become the worst mistake this country has ever made, he will have to unseat George W. Bush to get there.

Ironically, I agree with MOST what you stated — let Obama have his way and implement all the things he has asked for. I, however, believe the outcome will be on one of greatness where we will finally begin to correct the mistakes of the Bush administration and hopefully get our people back to work.

If I have learned anything in viewing the last two administrations it is the following : I would take a community organizer as my president any day over a spoiled rich kid who has literally ruined every business/organization/anything he has ever touched.

signed
BrothaLove

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