Report: Boehner makes concessions in "fiscal cliff" negotiations

Boehner agreed to extend the debt limit for a year, according to CNN

By Jillian Rayfield
December 17, 2012 7:03PM (UTC)
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John Boehner has reportedly offered to extend the debt limit for one year and to increase taxes on millionaires, according to CNN and The Washington Post.

The Washington Post reports on the debt ceiling offer:

With the national debt already bumping up against a $16.4 trillion cap set last year, Congress risks a government default unless it acts to raise the debt ceiling in the next few months. Some Republicans had argued that party leaders should use the threat of default to demand additional spending cuts from Obama.

Boehner’s offer signals that he expects a big deal with sufficient savings to meet his demand that any debt limit increase be paired dollar for dollar with spending cuts. That would permit him to keep a key vow to his party — and head off a potentially nasty debt-limit fight — at least until the end of next year.

Over the weekend, Politco and CNN reported that Boehner had also offered to make tax increases on the wealthiest Americans. From CNN:


According to the source, who spoke on condition of not being identified further, Boehner proposed allowing tax rates on household incomes over $1 million to return to higher rates of the 1990s while extending current reduced rates for all income up to that threshold. The offer was first reported by the news website Politico.

Both CNN and WaPo cite "sources familiar with the talks," but CNN also quotes Boehner spokesman Michael Steel, who was cagier: "The lines of communication remain open but there is no agreement, nor is one imminent," he said.

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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Barack Obama Budget Showdown Debt Ceiling Fiscal Cliff John Boehner