White House ‘Absolutely’ Willing to Go Off the Fiscal Cliff
Obama and Boehner spoke by phone this afternoon, their first conversation in exactly one week, an administration official said. Their relations have grown frosty in recent days as both sides have dug in on the issue of higher rates.
In separate appearances earlier today, Obama and Boehner publicly sparred over who’s to blame for the standoff and what to do if lawmakers can’t reach a broad deficit-reduction agreement in 27 days.
Obama, speaking at a meeting of 100 CEOs, warned Republicans that he would not accept a so-called “doomsday” deal that extends tax cuts for middle-income earners before the end of the year but nothing more.
Such an approach, which has been under consideration by top Republicans as a likely scenario, would set the stage for a big battle over spending cuts and top tax rates in early 2013 - all tied to the nation’s debt ceiling, which will need to be raised, which only Congress can do.