CNN’s Dana Bash is reporting that House Republicans have offered an untenable new deal to the White House in the ongoing negotiations to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, demanding, Democratic sources say, that the Bush tax cuts for the top 2 percent of Americans be made permanent.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) unveiled the GOP position during a “tense” phone call Tuesday night with President Obama. The offer comes as Democrats say that any final deal must include an increase in marginal tax rates for the highest income earners and a growing number of Republicans are pressuring Boehner to give-in on the inscrease.
From Bash’s report on Wednesday morning:
BASH: I talked to a Democratic source who said that a counter offer that House Republicans sent back to the White House late yesterday included a call for a permanent extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for the top 2 percent. Now you know that we’ve been talking constantly about the fact that the biggest divide between the two when it comes to taxes is that tax break for the wealthiest. And so this Democratic source, who I talked to familiar with the proposal, said this was a sign to the White House that the Republicans are either unwilling or not capable of offering something that can pass the House and the Senate and, more importantly, that the president can sign, because he has said he does not want to — he wants to raise tax rates for the wealthiest Americans.
Republicans have publicly proposed $800 billion in new revenues by closing loopholes and deductions.
A Boehner spokesperson told reporter Jennifer Bendery that keeping the tax cuts permanent is “moot” since Republicans are seeking a “framework for comprehensive tax reform,” though this offer would mean that the negotiations would start from a lower baseline than the one in current law. As a result, reform could generate less revenue.