House Speaker John Boehner, emphasizing he just could not get enough Republican votes for a tax increase, Friday said he’s open to talks with the White House and Senate leaders.
But he wants to see more spending cuts from Democrats. “We only run the House.
Democrats continue to run Washington,” the Ohio Republican said.
Republicans have a majority in the House of Representatives, but Democrats control the Senate.
Boehner appeared Friday at a news conference with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., considered a leader of the hardcore conservatives.
Boehner was his usual self, serious and occasionally somber, sometimes defiant, showing no regret over the Thursday vote. His Plan B, which would have extended all the Bush-era tax cuts while
raising taxes on million dollar earners, was pulled from consideration after it
was clear Boehner lacked the votes to pass it.
Asked what happens next, Boehner spoke in legislative language about bills considered
by the Senate and House of Representatives.
“I’m interesting in solving the major problems facing this country,” he said, adding
that “House leaders, Senate leaders, the president will have to work together.”
He said he was willing to re-engage with President Barack Obama to find a way to avoid
the cliff. If nothing is done, Bush-era tax rates will expire, meaning rates
will go up, next year, and automatic spending cuts will take effect Jan. 2.
Boehner said his proposal to raise $1 trillion in new revenue, along with spending
cuts, was his “bottom line.”
At some point, he said, Washington is going to have to deal with the nation’s debt
“How we get there, God only knows,” Boehner said.
The House has left for a Christmas recess, and no date is set for a return. The Senate meets later
Friday, then leaves until Dec. 27.