Boehner: `Democrats Run Washington’

Photograph by Brendan Hoffman/The New York Times via Redux

House Speaker John Boehner leaves a news conference on Capitol Hill on Dec. 20, 2012.

Having failed at convincing his own party to approve his own “Plan B”  for averting the so-called fiscal cliff, House Speaker John Boehner suggested today that it’s up to the Democratic-run Senate and President Barack Obama to find a solution.

“I don’t want taxes to go up,” Boehner said at a Capitol news conference. “Republicans don’t want taxes to go up. But I only run the House. Democrats continue to run Washington.”

The Democrats, the speaker said, “simply won’t deal honestly with entitlement reform.”

Rep. Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, standing by Boehner’s side today, said:

“It is clear that our conference has been consistent to its commitment to doing something about the spending problem in Washington and the mounting debt that has resulted.” It’s time, he said “that our colleagues on the other side of the Capitol…  get serious.”

The problem, for now, Boehner said, is that both he and the president have reached their “bottom lines” in negotiations in which the two are closer than they started but still far apart: Boehner offering to tax households earning more than $1 million a year harder — the notion that he couldn’t get his own party to support last night — and Obama taking the cutoff for higher taxes at $400,000 a year and above.

“I told the president on Monday that these were my bottom lines,” Boehner said. And the president, he said, told him that his offers “were his bottom line — that he couldn’t go any further.”

With a “how we get there, God only knows,”” Boehner wished everyone a “Merry Christmas.”

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