-House Republicans Offer Calls For $1.4 Trillion Spending Cuts
-House Speaker Says Plan Based on Simpson-Bowles Report

By John Shaw

WASHINGTON (MNI) – House Speaker John Boehner Monday sent a counteroffer to
the White House to break the stalemate in fiscal cliff negotiations, which calls
for $1.4 trillion in spending cuts and $800 billion in additional revenue
through tax reform.

The spending savings include $600 billion from health care entitlements,
$300 billion from other entitlements, $200 billion by using the chained CPI for
indexing benefit programs and $300 billion in additional discretionary savings,
according to a Republican letter to President Barack Obama.

Boehner and his House Republican leadership team said the White House’s
offer from last week “is neither balanced nor realistic.”

The House GOP counteroffer is based on the Simpson-Bowles report,
specifically the testimony of Erskine Bowles to the so-called Super Committee
last year, Boehner said.

They called the Bowles package “exactly the kind of imperfect but fair
middle ground that allows us to avert the fiscal cliff without hurting our
economy and destroying jobs.”

The Republican leaders say that if the White House accepts this framework
“we are ready and eager to begin discussions” on how to turn this package into
legislative language.

–MNI Washington Bureau; tel: +1 202-371-2121; email: jshaw@mni-news.com

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