House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, who spoke with President Barack Obama yesterday, arrives for a closed-door meeting with the GOP caucus on Dec. 12, 2012, on Capitol Hill. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)With no evidence of concrete progress in talks to avoid the "fiscal cliff," President Barack Obama's Republican foes in Congress worked on Wednesday to turn up the heat on the White House. The GOP push came after the release of a new poll showing Americans side with the president with time running short to defuse the economic time bomb.
"The longer the White House slow-walks this discussion, the closer our economy gets to the fiscal cliff and the more American jobs are placed in jeopardy," Republican House Speaker John Boehner said, one day after discussing the standoff with Obama by telephone.
"There were some offers exchanged back and forth yesterday and, you know, the president and I had a pretty frank conversation about just how far apart we are," Boehner told reporters. "I remain the most optimistic person in this town, but we've got some serious differences."
The speaker, who has been negotiating with the president behind closed doors, said Obama had dropped his call for $1.6 trillion in new tax revenue to $1.4 trillion. But "that cannot pass the House or the Senate."
"We've been reasonable and responsible in our approach to this, and we're going to continue to do that. It's time for the president to do his part," he said.Read More »from Boehner: Republicans, Obama ‘far apart’ on ‘fiscal cliff’