WASHINGTON (AP) — Seeking to jump-start stalled talks on avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff, House Republicans on Monday proposed a new 10-year, $2.2 trillion blueprint to President Barack Obama that calls for increasing the eligibility age for Medicare and lowering cost-of-living hikes for Social Security benefits.
The proposal from House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other Republicans comes in response to Obama's offer last week to hike taxes by $1.6 trillion over the coming decade but largely exempt Medicare and Social Security from budget cuts.
The GOP plan also proposes to raise $800 billion in higher tax revenue over the decade but it would keep the Bush-era tax cuts — including those for wealthier earners targeted by Obama — in place for now.
Boehner said the GOP proposal is a "credible plan" for Obama and that he hopes the administration would "respond in a timely and responsible way." The offer comes after the administration urged Republicans to detail their proposal to cut popular benefits programs like Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid.
"After the election I offered to speed this up by putting revenue on the table and unfortunately the White House responded with their la-la land offer that couldn't pass the House, couldn't pass the Senate and it was basically the president's budget from last February," Boehner told reporters.
The Boehner proposal revives a host of ideas from failed talks with Obama in the summer of 2011. Then, Obama was willing to discuss politically controversial ideas like raising the eligibility age for Medicare, implementing a new inflation adjustment for Social Security cost-of-living adjustments and requiring wealthier Medicare recipients to pay more for their benefits.
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