Boehner reports “no progress” on fiscal cliff talks

The debate over the so-called “fiscal cliff” is still the talk of the media in Washington. However, House Speaker John Boehner told reporters this morning that he couldn’t progress report on the talks with the White House because there had been, well, no progress:

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) accused the White House Friday of trying to “slow-walk” the fiscal-cliff negotiations.

Boehner said there was “no progress” in the talks just three weeks before tax hikes and spending cuts are set to kick in and expressed frustration that President Obama hasn’t made a counteroffer to the GOP’s proposal of $800 billion in new tax revenue as part of a $2.2 trillion deficit-reduction plan.

“This isn’t a progress report, because there’s no progress to report,” Boehner said in a brief press conference at the Capitol.

He said the White House had “wasted another week” by not responding to House Republicans.

Writing earlier this week at National Review, Michael Tanner explained that there really isn’t much of a difference in the plans offered by the White House and House Republicans. The only real sticking point is, since Republicans have ceded so much ground already, by how much will they raise taxes.

The White House insists that they’re not budging on increased taxes rates for higher-income earners. Boehner says that Obama, because of his unwillingness to compromise, wants to go over the fiscal cliff.

Some conservatives have recently suggested Republicans go along with Obama’s tax hike proposal, though for different reasons. During an appearance on Hannity, Ann Coulter claimed defeat, explaining her belief that Republicans have no choice but to cave. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told Larry Kudlow that he would “work with Harry Reid to let him pass his big old tax hike with a simple majority if that’s what Harry Reid wants, because then they will become the party of high taxes and they can own it.”

Interesting takes, for sure. I’ve recently seen more conservatives showing a willingess to go over the fiscal cliff, despite polls showing that Republicans would ultimately take a hit in the polls. It wouldn’t be surprising in the least bit to see House Republicans bring Obama’s fiscal cliff proposal up for a vote and it ultimately pass. Whether some sort of arrangement is worked out in advance to find enough votes from moderate-ish members to push it through, or a complete capitulation. Either way, they’re going to cave. I’m convinced of that.

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