“Republicans in Congress face a simple choice,” Obama said. “Are they willing to compromise to protect vital investments in education and health care and national security and all the jobs that depend on them? Or would they rather put hundreds of thousands of jobs and our entire economy at risk just to protect a few special interest tax loopholes that benefit only the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations?”
Neither side, of course, wants the sequester to kick in. It was designed in 2011 to spur both sides to reach a compromise. But the usual sticking point remains: taxes. Obama says a sensible solution includes targeted spending cuts and tax increases via the closing of certain loopholes and deductions. Republicans say they’re done with tax hikes; they gave in last December during the fiscal cliff talks, agreeing to an increase in the top marginal rate for the wealthiest taxpayers.
House Speaker John Boehner (R) of Ohio slammed the president for putting on a “campaign-style event,” and blamed him for ignoring legislation that has passed the House – a plan that contains “common-sense cuts and reforms” that won’t threaten public safety, national security, or the economy.
“Once again,” Speaker Boehner said, “the president offered no credible plan that can pass Congress – only more calls for higher taxes.”
Last week, an exasperated speaker declared that he was finished trying to reach an agreement with the Democrats in Congress and the White House.
"Frankly, every time I've gotten into one of these high-profile negotiations, you know, it's my rear end that got burnt," Boehner said.