Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Obama, Boehner talk raises hope 'fiscal cliff' can be avoided

WASHINGTON — For the first time in days, President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner spoke by phone Wednesday about the "fiscal cliff" that threatens to knock the economy into recession, raising the prospect of fresh negotiations to prevent tax increases and spending cuts set to kick in with the new year.

Officials provided no details of the conversation, which came on the same day the president, hewing to a hard line, publicly warned congressional Republicans not to inject the threat of a government default into the already complex issue.

"It's not a game I will play," Obama told a group of business leaders as Republicans struggled to find their footing in talks with a recently re-elected president and unified congressional Democrats.

Among the Republicans, Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma became the latest to break ranks and say he could support Obama's demand for an increase in tax rates at upper incomes as part of a comprehensive plan to cut federal deficits.

Across the Capitol, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Republicans want to "sit down with the president. We want to talk specifics." He noted that the GOP had made a compromise offer earlier in the week and the White House had rejected it.

Officials said after the talk between Obama and Boehner, R-Ohio, there was no immediate plan for a resumption of negotiations to avert the cliff. At the same time, they said that for the first time in a few days, at least one top presidential aide had been in touch with Republicans by email on the subject.

Each side has been declaring that the crisis can be averted if the other will give ground.

"We can probably solve this in about a week, it's not that tough," Obama said in lunchtime remarks to the Business Roundtable.

It has been several days since either the president or congressional Democrats signaled any interest in negotiations that both sides say are essential to a compromise. Presidential aides have even encouraged speculation that Obama is willing to let the economy go over the "fiscal cliff" if necessary and gamble that the public blames Republicans for any fallout.

Eventually, Democrats acknowledge, there will be compromise talks, possibly quite soon, toward an agreement that raises revenues, reins in Medicare and other government benefit programs, and perhaps raises the government's $16.4 trillion borrowing limit.

Comments
Steratore will lead 7-person officiating crew for Super Bowl

Steratore will lead 7-person officiating crew for Super Bowl

Referee Gene Steratore will lead the seven-person crew of on-field game officials selected to work the Super Bowl on Feb. 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium
Updated: 5 minutes ago
Bob Dole gets Congressional Gold Medal

Bob Dole gets Congressional Gold Medal

Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole is getting Congress' highest civilian honor
Updated: 5 minutes ago
In another move at Moton Elementary, Principal Joe Frana resigns ahead of state visit

In another move at Moton Elementary, Principal Joe Frana resigns ahead of state visit

BROOKSVILLE — Just three months after state educators stepped in to help boost long-struggling Moton Elementary School, its principal has announced his resignation.In a letter to the Hernando County School District Tuesday, Principal Joe Frana ...
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Suspect charged with murder in college student's killing

Suspect charged with murder in college student's killing

A former high school classmate of a University of Pennsylvania student found buried in a California park was charged with murder and investigators were looking for evidence of a hate crime
Updated: 6 minutes ago
Tourism brought in record $112 billion to Florida in 2016

Tourism brought in record $112 billion to Florida in 2016

Tourism brought in a record $112 billion to Florida’s economy in 2016, up about 3 percent from 2015, according to Visit Florida figures released Wednesday. About 10 percent — $88 billion — of the state’s gross domestic product came from tourism in 20...
Updated: 9 minutes ago

Jaguars practice for Pats without starters Gipson, Omameh

Jacksonville Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson and guard Patrick Omameh missed practice Wednesday
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Boston honors hockey pioneer Willie O'Ree

Boston honors hockey pioneer Willie O'Ree

Hockey pioneer Willie O'Ree was honored in Boston on the 60th anniversary of the Bruins forward breaking the NHL's color barrier
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Apple to build 2nd campus, hire 20,000 in $350B pledge

Apple to build 2nd campus, hire 20,000 in $350B pledge

Associated PressSAN FRANCISCO — Apple is planning to build another corporate campus and hire 20,000 workers during the next five years as part of a $350 billion commitment to the U.S. that will be partially financed by an upcoming windfall from the c...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
State Sen. Dana Young gets rematch from Bob Buesing

State Sen. Dana Young gets rematch from Bob Buesing

Bob Buesing is finally making it official: The Tampa lawyer and Democrat is filing paperwork today to make another run against State Sen. Dana Young, R-Tampa, in what's likely to be one of the 2018's marquee Florida legislative races.Democrats see th...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Democrat's upset in Wisconsin race sparks hope elsewhere

Democrat's upset in Wisconsin race sparks hope elsewhere

A surprising Democratic upset in a conservative Wisconsin Senate district where voters overwhelmingly supported President Donald Trump just 14 months ago has raised liberal hopes of more election success coming this fall
Updated: 11 minutes ago