President Barack Obama made a budget counteroffer to Speaker John A. Boehner on Monday that included raising the top rates on income above $400,000, $400 billion in health care cuts and $200 billion in discretionary cuts.
Sources familiar with the talks between the White House and the Ohio Republican confirmed the new offer, which no one characterized as close to final. However, it marks progress as lawmakers hurtle toward the Christmas holiday and their Jan. 1 deadline. Without action, taxes are expected to go up on all Americans and deep automatic spending cuts are scheduled to begin.
House Republicans rejected the offer but noted it was “a step in the right direction.”
One source characterized the offer as including $1.2 trillion in cuts, including almost $300 billion in saved interest costs, while raising $1.2 trillion in revenue, down from $1.4 trillion in an earlier offer and $1.6 trillion in the administration’s original ask.
Boehner’s office, however, disputed those figures, unwilling to give credit for interest savings as a cut and saying the net revenue would be closer to $1.3 trillion because of effects from the changes in inflation calculations on the tax code.
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