Boehner: Obama should ‘lead, not cast blame’ in fiscal talks

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) blasted President Obama on Sunday for attempting to "cast blame" on Republicans instead of trying to lead during “fiscal cliff” talks. 

In a statement following Obama's interview Sunday on NBC's “Meet the Press,” Boehner called the president’s comments "ironic," saying that a "recurring theme" of the fiscal-cliff negotiations is "his unwillingness to agree to anything that would require him to stand up to his own party.”

"Needed cuts and reforms that the president agreed to just last year were no longer on the table, as he cited an inability to sell them to Democrats," Boehner said. 

Senate leaders are racing to reach a compromise to avoid January’s tax hikes and automatic spending cuts, with the year-end deadline fast approaching.

In his interview, Obama accused Boehner of holding up negotiations, charging that GOP negotiators had “trouble saying yes to a number of repeated offers” to cut the deficit.

The Speaker, though, insisted that Republican lawmakers had compromised and that Obama had failed to negotiate in good faith.

"In an effort to get the president to agree to cut spending — which is the problem — I put revenues on the table last year, and I put them on the table again last month," Boehner said. "Republicans made every effort to reach the 'balanced' deficit agreement that the president promised the American people, while the president has continued to insist on a package dramatically in favor of higher taxes that would destroy jobs."

"We've been reasonable and responsible," Boehner added. "The president is the one who has never been able to get to 'yes.' "

At the same time, Boehner said the House GOP had passed bills to prevent taxes from going up only to be met with Senate inaction.

The Speaker slammed Obama for allowing the Senate "to sit on" legislation and "lead our economy to the edge of the fiscal cliff."