(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker John Boehner on Monday sent President Obama a counter-proposal on how to cut the deficit that he called a “credible plan” to break the stalemate in negotiations to keep the country from going off the “fiscal cliff.”
In the plan, Republicans offer a total of $2.2 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade. That would give lawmakers enough savings to off-set $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts set to take effect Jan. 2, 2013, but senior Republican aides said it does not explicitly include an offer to address the standoff over whether the president or Congress should have power over debt limit increases.
The GOP deal offers $800 billion in new revenue through tax reform, but Boehner insist that tax rates should not go up on the top 2 percent of taxpayers.
The offer also proposes $600 billion in health savings, $300 billion in additional mandatory savings, $300 billion in discretionary spending cuts, and $200 billion through revisions to the way the Consumer Price Index is calculated across federal pensions and programs like Social Security.
“What we’re putting forth is a credible plan that deserves serious consideration by the White House, and I would hope that they would respond in a timely and responsible way,” Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters Monday when he dropped into a staff briefing on the counteroffer. “We could have responded in kind, but decided not to do that.”
“Going over the cliff will hurt our economy and hurt job creation in our country. It’s one of the reasons why the day after the election, I offered a concession to try to speed this process up by putting revenue on the table,” Boehner said. “Unfortunately the White House responded with the La-la-land offer that couldn’t pass the House, couldn’t pass the Senate."
Boehner said the president’s offer last week was “basically the president’s budget from last February,” which he noted received no votes in the House and no votes in the Senate.
Now, in a letter to the president, House Republicans devised an offer based on Erskine Bowles’ proposal to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, the so-called super committee.
The president had asked for about $1.6 trillion in new revenue, including about $800 billion from allowing tax cuts on income over $250,000 a year expire. Obama also asked for about $400 billion in new stimulus spending.
The letter with the proposal was sent to the president around 2 p.m. Monday.
The speaker said he did not intend to speak with the president personally about the offer, but he “might run into him” Monday night at a holiday reception at the White House.
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