White House Asks GOP: Where Are Your Specifics?

Dec 11, 2012 5:47pm

The White House today pushed back against House Speaker John Boehner’s demand that President Obama outline spending cuts, insisting that he has offered specific cuts he’s willing to make to avoid going over the “fiscal cliff” and urging Republicans to do the same.

“There is one fact that should not be in dispute, it ought to be this: The president, unlike any other party to these negotiations, has put forward detailed spending cuts as well as detailed revenue proposals,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters today. “It’s not a mystery.”

Turning the tables, Carney criticized the speaker for failing to detail the GOP’s flexibility on revenue.

“The speaker of the House sent us a proposal that was two pages long that included one sentence on revenue,” he said.

Carney, holding up a paper copy of the president’s 2011 plan, encouraged reporters to look at the “details on proposed spending cuts by the president” on “pages 17-45.”

“It is entirely our expectation that Republicans may not agree with all of our spending cuts,” he said. “What we haven’t seen from Republicans to this day is a single specific proposal on revenue. And in fact, we’ve seen less specificity from Republicans on spending cuts than the president himself has proposed.”

Asked about the speaker’s accusation that the White House is slow-walking negotiations, Carney said only “we would like to see some specifics” and refused to characterize the status of negotiations.

“We think that lines of communication remain open. But what we’re not going to do is give a daily or hourly assessment of whether or not progress is being made or what specific items are being discussed, because we don’t think that’s fruitful or helpful towards achieving the goal that we think we all share, which is reaching a compromise that Congress can pass and the president can sign into law,” he said.

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