House Speaker John Boehner is responding to the president’s earlier press conference, in which he said he didn’t want to point fingers — before pointing fingers at the Republicans.
Boehner says talks collapsed because the Democrats wouldn’t budge on tax hikes, and because the White House moved the goal posts. Boehner said a deal was near until the WH insisted on $400 billion in tax hikes.
Boehner said he believes both he and the president want what’s best for the country, but raising taxes during a recession as the Democrats want is not what’s best for the country.
Boehner says he is working with bipartisan leadership in the Congress, and that if the White House won’t get serious, “we will.” In response to a reporter’s question about how can he say the WH was never serious, Boehner responded that never once did they come to the table with a plan.
So far, the contrast between the petulant, partisan president and the calm demeanor of Boehner is striking. Boehner looks like an adult trying to make difficult decisions; Obama looked like a teenager angry because his folks wouldn’t give him the keys to the family car.
Boehner said he will go to the White House tomorrow morning.
Update: Boehner reiterated that there was an agreement with the WH that included $800 billion in revenues, but the WH upped its demands by $400 billion in tax increases and that’s why the talks broke down.
Update: Boehner concluded saying that he is confident that the Congress can act next week and uphold the full faith and credit of the United States.