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Boehner Shows Frustration With Obama Offer as Democrats Press for Counteroffer

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call
Boehner did not shut down the idea that talks will continue between himself and the president and demurred when asked if further conversations are scheduled, but he noted that ideas have been passed back and forth.

While Republicans summarily rejected Thursday’s offer by Geithner, at the campaign-style rally in Pennsylvania on Friday the president showed no signs of giving way.

“In Washington, nothing’s easy, so there is going to be some prolonged negotiations, and all of us are going to have to get out of our comfort zones to make that happen,” he said. “I’m willing to do that. I’m hopeful that enough members of Congress in both parties are willing to do that as well.”

Hoyer said Democrats’ negotiating strategy is based on scars from previous battles in which both parties negotiated over spending cuts only to see Republicans walk out on the talks when the discussion turned to increasing taxes.

“What the Republicans want is, they want give on their stuff first. There’s no give on taxes, revenues, none,” he said.

Hoyer described the GOP strategy as “’Lets bargain. How about cutting this?’ ‘OK.’ ‘How about cutting this?’ ‘OK.’ ‘How about cutting this?’ ‘OK.’ And then you say to me, ‘Well, now, how about we raise revenues here?’ ‘We’re not going to talk about that. We’re going to walk out of the room.’ That’s what [House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.] did. That’s essentially what Boehner did.”

While Boehner has offered to increase revenues by cutting tax deductions and loopholes, Hoyer said such ideas wouldn’t bring in sufficient revenue to the scale of federal deficits. If such a plan could work, Hoyer said, Republicans should demonstrate a detailed version of one to prove it.

“The Republicans need to come back with something where the math works,” Hoyer said.

Hoyer also endorsed the president’s plan on legislatively ending the need to raise the debt ceiling. “It’s a phony vote. It’s a charade,” Hoyer said, adding that both parties had abused debt ceiling increases for partisan purposes.

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