‘‘Each side said they'd submit a down payment. We have. Our preference is revenue. What is theirs?’’ said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
Republicans have an opening offer of their own, in line with their conservative anti-tax views, much as Obama’s is designed to solidify his own political position. While agreeing to new revenue, GOP lawmakers want to extend expiring income tax cuts at all levels, including the top brackets. They also want to raise the age of eligibility for Medicare and curtail future cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security and other benefit programs. The same adjustment would raise revenue for the government by making a change in annual adjustments of tax brackets.
‘‘We’re the only ones with a balanced plan to protect the economy, protect American jobs and protect the middle class from the fiscal cliff,’’ Boehner said on Friday.
That was a jab at Obama, who campaigned for re-election advocating a balanced approach to avoiding the fiscal cliff that combines higher taxes on the wealthy with spending cuts.
Said the president: ‘‘In Washington, nothing’s easy, so there is going to be some prolonged negotiations.’’
EDITOR'S NOTE — David Espo is AP’s chief congressional correspondent. Associated Press writer Alan Fram contributed to this report.
An AP News Analysis