House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, continued to blame President Barack Obama for the lack of progress on a budget agreement Thursday, claiming that the president is not serious about cutting government spending.
"More than five weeks ago, Republicans signaled our willingness to avert the fiscal cliff with a bipartisan agreement that is truly balanced and begins to solve our spending problem," Boehner said at a press conference. "The president still has not made an offer that meets those two standards."
He added, "While the president promised the American people a balanced approach, his proposals have been anything but. He wants far more in tax hikes than in spending cuts."
Boehner's remarks continue a recent line of attack from Republicans, who have accused the president of focusing only on tax hikes rather than offering a serious plan to reduce spending.
Members of the GOP have pointed to Obama's recent campaign-style events focused on increasing public support for his proposal to extend the tax cuts for the middle-class but raise rates on income above $250,000 a year.
"Now it's clear the president's just not serious about cutting spending," Boehner said at his weekly press conference. "But spending is the problem."
The House Speaker pointed to a chart from Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and the House Budget Committee indicating that the president's proposed tax hikes would not address the sharp increase in government spending in the decades ahead.
"Listen, Republicans want to solve this problem by getting this spending line down," Boehner said. "The president wants to pretend that spending isn't the problem. That's why we don't have an agreement."
He added, "We made a reasonable offer, it's now up to the White House to show us how they're going to cut spending and give us the balanced agreement that the president has talked about for weeks."
Meanwhile, Democrats continue to put the blame for a lack of an agreement on Republicans, noting that the GOP leadership continues to oppose raising tax rates on wealthy Americans.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday he is "mystified" that there hasn't been movement from the Republicans on the issue of taxes.
"Speaker Boehner can't ignore the American people forever," Reid said at a press conference. "At some point, reality should set in."
Reid suggested that Obama would be willing to take significant action on spending once Republicans agree to higher taxes on the wealthy.
Republicans claim their plan would raise $800 billion in revenues over ten years by closing loopholes and capping deductions rather than raising rates.
Unless Congress takes action, approximately $600 billion in automatic tax increases and government spending cuts are due to take effect at the end of the year.
by RTT Staff Writer
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