House Speaker John Boehner went before the cameras Friday and again vented his frustrations with President Barack Obama and the White House over negotiations to prevent the federal government from going over the fiscal cliff.
"Four days ago we offered a serious proposal based on testimony of President Clinton's former chief of staff," Boehner told reporters. "Since then there's been no counter-offer from the White House. Instead, reports indicate the president has adopted a deliberate strategy to slow walk our economy right to the edge of th fiscal cliff."
The speaker told reporters that "this isn't a progress report because there's no progress."
"When it comes to the fiscal cliff that's threatening our economy and threatening jobs, the White House has wasted another week," he said.
If Congress and the White House can't reach an agreement in the next few weeks, $500 billion in tax increases will take effect early next year, coupled with $109 billion in spending reductions, the first installment towards $1.2 trillion in cuts over two years. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has said that might raise the unemployment rate to 9 percent or higher and push the nation back into a recession.
Boehner said he talked with Obama by phone earlier this week but nothing fruitful came from the conversation.
"The phone call was pleasant, but just more of the same," he said. "Even the conversations that the staff had yesterday - just more of the same. It's time for the president to be serious, come back to us with a counter-offer."