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U.S. President Barack Obama hosts a bipartisan meeting with Congressional leaders in the Roosevelt Room of White House to discuss the economy, November 16, 2012. Left of President Obama is Speaker of the House John Boehner.                             REU
Mr. Boehner seems to have an attitude problem.
House Speaker John Boehner spoke briefly on the House floor Tuesday, reiterating the same talking points and staking the same ground he's been on in fiscal cliff curb negotiations since the election: no tax hikes and all spending cuts. What he said wasn't necessarily unexpected, but the fact that he picked right now, and a fairly high profile way of doing it, raises questions about whether there's been any progress at all in negotiations.
The intensity of negotiations between the White House and Congressional Republicans has increased in recent days. Boehner and Obama met Sunday at the White House in a session the speaker described as “a nice meeting, a cordial meeting.” He said he’s “hopeful” for an agreement.

“But we’re still waiting for the White House to identify what spending cuts the president is willing to make as part of the ‘balanced approach’ he promised the American people,” Boehner said.

The speech is not a promising sign: If Boehner felt compelled to go to the House floor to publicly address negotiations, it means that talks aren’t progressing well behind the scenes.

To which White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer responded with a tweet: "The irony of this is that the White House offer had very specific cuts, the GOP counteroffer had almost none."

Boehner could be trying his hand at upping the pressure on the president, after the White House unleashed its most powerful tool by asking supporters to flood Republican phone lines. Judging by the White House response, that didn't work.

Or Boehner could be putting up a front, telling his restive caucus that he's still standing firm against tax hikes on the wealthy. Or it could really be that talks are at a standstill. But what is certain is that if Boehner doesn't come up with some tax rate increases that his caucus can live with, taxes on the middle class and the wealthy go up next month. And that'll be on his head.

11:58 AM PT: Sen. Harry Reid basically tells Boehner to pound sand.

Sen. Reid: Will be hard to reach a fiscal cliff deal by Christmas; Democrats aren't going to make an offer on spending cuts for Republicans.
@CNBC via HootSuite

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 10:40 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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