Boehner expresses no confidence on budget deal
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday that he's not confident Congress can reach a budget deal and avoid a downgrading of the U.S. debt rating. His Democratic counterpart in the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid, was far more hopeful that "some kind of agreement" would be reached after the elections.
Boehner was asked at a Capitol Hill news conference how confident he was that negotiations would prevent the government from hitting the so-called fiscal cliff — an economy rattling set of across-the-board spending cuts and higher taxes caused by the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts that are set to hit in January.
"I'm not confident at all," said Boehner, R-Ohio.
Boehner reminded reporters that the House has passed legislation to both avoid the automatic, across-the-board cuts next year and to renew the Bush era tax cuts for one year as well. Republicans warned of the impact of the impending cuts on the military and implored Senate Democrats to act to avoid them.
"I'm hopeful we will reach some kind of agreement," countered Reid, D-Nev., suggesting that the results of the election will weaken the GOP's resolve to block tax increases on wealthier earners and that Republicans will be more willing to compromise.
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