Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET
In response to President Obama’s extensive comments about the fiscal cliff at the White House Wednesday afternoon, House Speaker John Boehner left himself little if any room to continue negotiations.
Here’s the key piece of Boehner’s brief comments from his appearance before reporters in the Capitol:“Tomorrow the House will pass legislation to make permanent tax relief for nearly every American — 99.81 percent of the American people,” he said, referring to his own so-called Plan B. “Then the President will have a decision to make. He can call on Senate Democrats to pass that bill, or he can be responsible for the largest tax increase in American history.”
That sounds like he’s giving Obama a choice between Plan B or the fiscal cliff. No more negotiations over a broader deficit reduction plan.
Boehner did not take any questions from the press, but a spokesman for the speaker affirmed that the lines of communication with the White House remain open and that Boehner was not signaling the end of negotiations.
Whether or not he’s foreclosing on further negotiations before the end of the year, Boehner did suggest that he’d entertain further negotiations over a “balanced” plan in the future.
“The President’s offer of 1.3 trillion dollars of revenues, 850 billion dollars in spending reductions, fails to meet the test the President promised the American people: a balanced approach,” he said. “I hope the President gets serious soon about providing and working with us on a balanced approach.”