Category: Politics / December 19, 2012 6:40 PM EST
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said on Tuesday (December 19) that U.S. President Barack Obama will be responsible for taxes rising on Americans if he does not "get serious" about a balanced deficit reduction plan or demand Senate passage of a Republican bill to prevent tax increases on all incomes below $1 million.
"Tomorrow the House will pass legislation to make permanent tax relief for nearly every American," Boehner said in a short on-camera statement delivered in response to remarks by the president an hour earlier. "Then the president will have a decision to make. He can call on the Senate Democrats to pass that bill, or he can be responsible for the largest tax increase in American history."
At a news conference, Obama had urged Republicans to move beyond partisan objections to compromise with him on averting the year-end "fiscal cliff" and invoked the tragic Newtown elementary school massacre in a plea for flexibility.
The president made a fresh offer earlier this week that would raise taxes on those making $400,000 a year or more, but the House of Representatives could vote on a proposal by Speaker Boehner that would extend current tax rates for all but those making $1 million or more.
President Obama made clear, however, that he will not negotiate with Republicans over raising the national debt limit, which is expected to be reached in the first few months of next year. A Republican insistence in 2011 that any increase in the borrowing cap be matched by spending cuts led the nation to the brink of default and set back the pace of economic recovery.