GOP gives offer cold shoulder
WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House is seeking $1.6 trillion in higher taxes over a decade and an immediate infusion of funds to aid the jobless, help hard-pressed homeowners and perhaps extend the expiring payroll tax cut, officials said Thursday as talks aimed at averting an economy-rattling “’fiscal cliff” turned testy.
In exchange, the officials said, President Barack Obama will support an unspecified amount of spending cuts this year, to be followed by legislation in 2013 producing savings of as much as $400 billion from Medicare and other benefit programs over a decade.
The offer produced a withering response from House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, after a closed-door meeting in the Capitol with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. “Unfortunately, many Democrats continue to rule out sensible spending cuts that must be part of any significant agreement that will reduce our deficit,” he declared.
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