Boehner to Obama: ‘Get serious’ about ‘fiscal cliff’

December 19, 2012 by ghuitao lin   Comments (0)

Boehner to Obama: ‘Get serious’ about ‘fiscal cliff’

discount uggs outletRepublican House Speaker John Boehner warned President Barack Obama on Wednesday that he can either accept a GOP alternative to a comprehensive “fiscal cliff” compromise or “be responsible for the largest tax increase in American history.”“I hope the president will get serious soon about providing, and working with us on, a balanced approach,” Boehner told reporters in a brief public appearance at which he took no questions.The verbal hardball tactics came one day before the Republican-led House of Representative was to vote on the speaker’s “Plan B," which would extend Bush-era tax cuts on income up to $1 million but would raise tax rates above that. His plan also keeps in place deep automatic defense and domestic spending cuts—the so-called sequester—that key Republicans have spent months denouncing as unacceptable and dangerous to national security.“Tomorrow, the House will pass legislation to make permanent tax relief for nearly every American—99.81 percent of the American people,” Boehner said. “Then the president will have a decision to make: He can call on Senate Democrats to pass that bill or he can be responsible for the largest tax increase in American history.”The speaker’s remarks hinted at the pitched public relations battle over the fiscal cliff—across-the-board income tax hikes and deep government spending cuts that will be triggered if the White House and congressional Republicans can't reach a deal. The combination of spending cuts and tax hikes could plunge the fragile economy into a new recession. Both would go into effect Jan. 1 barring aneleventh-hour compromise.

discount uggs saleRepublicans have squirmed for months in the face of opinion polls showing the public sides with Obama, who has accused the GOP of holding tax cuts that chiefly benefit the middle class hostage to secure tax cuts for the richest Americans. The president first called for extending tax cuts on income up to $250,000 annually per household, then in a concession to Republicans raised that to $400,000.Boehner’s gambit also highlighted how he is in a political bind. Many conservatives in the House oppose any tax increase at all. On Wednesday, the anti-tax Club for Growth interest group warned House members to vote against the speaker’s plan. And some House Republicans remain opposed to the automatic defense cuts they say risk endangering national security.But it’s also not lost on anyone that Boehner’s “Plan B” could turn out to the be the legislative vehicle for any final compromise deal. Once received by the Senate, lawmakers there could amend the package and send it back to the House—though that may be easier said than done.(Roll Call ace reporter Niels Lesniewski lays out the parliamentary details here with characteristic clarity and thoroughness, noting that “Plan B” might actually prove to be “a much-needed Christmas present” to Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.)

cheap uggs outletIn some ways, Obama seems to be playing along with the idea that the time for talking is over and its now time to vote. During a press conference at the White House shortly before Boehner's comments, the president signaled that he was done negotiating. “Take the deal,” he said.As for a negotiated compromise? “I think the speaker would like to get that done,” Obama said....NEW YORK—Just days after he publicly scolded President Barack Obama for not being more aggressive in his efforts to curb gun violence, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he was “very encouraged” to see Obama pressing for new gun measures in the wake of last week’s deadly school shooting in Connecticut.“His announcement is an important step in the right direction,” Bloomberg said in response to Obama announcing that he’s setting up a task force to come up with gun control proposals. “This country needs his leadership if we are going to reduce the daily bloodshed from gun violence that we have seen for far too long.”But, the mayor added, Obama’s task force needs to “move quickly with its work.”It was the latest example of the outspoken mayor holding the Obama administration’s feet to the fire on the hot-button issue of gun control—a subject that has been long close to the mayor’s heart.

cheap uggs onlineIn the days since last week’s shooting, Bloomberg has arguably become one of the key public faces of the tragedy as he bluntly urged the president and members of Congress to offer more than just “talk” in the aftermath of yet another mass shooting.His aggressive posture comes as Bloomberg seeks to transition from being the lame duck mayor of the nation's largest city to a potentially more prominent role on the national political stage.The 70-year-old billionaire media mogul, who is a registered Independent, has already sought to position himself as someone who can influence and shape public policy on the issues he cares about, including gun control, climate change and health care.New York City has already been a laboratory for some of Bloomberg’s ideas throughout his three terms. Over the last decade, he’s implemented a smoking ban in New York’s restaurants, bars and parks, and pushed fast-food restaurants to post calorie counts—controversial ideas that have since been embraced by other cities around the country. More recently, Bloomberg sought to curb New York’s growing obesity epidemic by restricting the sizes of some sodas and other sugary drinks sold in the city.

Uggs outlet"Bloomberg has been fearless in stepping out on big, controversial issues. I think he is on his way to becoming the most influential private citizen in the history of the country,” Mark McKinnon, a Texas-based political strategist who previously worked for George W. Bush, told Yahoo News.McKinnon, who has worked with Bloomberg on a group called “No Labels,” which aims to promote nonpartisanship in politics, said the mayor’s influence extends “well beyond New York City, where he has proven what a determined mayor can get accomplished.”But Bloomberg’s outspoken stance on guns in the aftermath of the Connecticut shooting could prove to be turning point in his efforts to move beyond City Hall.Bloomberg co-founded Mayors Against Illegal Guns in 2006 and launched a super PAC last fall that worked to unseat lawmakers who were against gun control. But since last week’s shooting, the mayor has been the gun control movement's most visible champion—willing to aggressively challenge lawmakers, as he’s put it, to "do the right thing.”Just hours after Obama went before cameras last Friday to pledge “meaningful action” in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shooting, Bloomberg issued a tough statement calling on the president to offer more than just “rhetoric.”

Uggs clearance"Calling for 'meaningful action' is not enough. We need immediate action," the mayor said. "We have heard all the rhetoric before. What we have not seen is leadership—not from the White House and not from Congress."Bloomberg followed up that statement with a litany of television appearances in recent days. Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, the mayor insisted curbing gun violence should be Obama’s “No. 1 agenda.”“He’s president of the United States,” Bloomberg told NBC. “And if he does nothing during his second term, something like 48,000 Americans will be killed with illegal guns.”On Monday, Bloomberg held a news conference featuring family members of those killed in other mass shootings, including the deadly attack at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., in July, and the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech.Addressing the group just one day after Obama spoke at a memorial service in Newtown, where he vowed to act, Bloomberg didn’t let up on the pressure, telling the group of Obama’s speech, “Words alone cannot heal our nation. Only action can do that.”It’s unclear how influential Bloomberg is with Obama, whom he endorsed in the final weeks of the 2012 election. While Bloomberg said he had spoken with Vice President Joe Biden, who is leading the president’s task force on gun violence, there was no indication he had spoken to the president.Asked about his Obama endorsement on “Meet the Press,” Bloomberg didn’t backtrack.