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Learn about policy issues important to medical schools and teaching hospitals, with Executive Vice President Atul Grover, M.D., Ph.D.

Washington Highlights

House Republicans Make Budget Counter Offer

December 7, 2012—In a Dec. 3 letter to President Obama, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) called for $800 billion in new revenue by closing loopholes and ending deductions. 

The letter, signed by House GOP leaders including Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Energy and Commerce Chair Fred Upton (R-Mich.), and Ways and Means Chair Dave Camp (R-Mich.), rejects the proposal presented to Republican leaders Nov. 29 by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner [see Washington Highlights, Nov. 30]. 

The letter states, “We cannot in good conscience agree to this proposal, which is neither balanced nor realistic.  If we were to take your Administration’s proposal at face value, then we would counter with the House-passed Budget Resolution…. [which] proposes structural reforms to preserve and protect the Nation’s entitlement programs, ensuring they are sustainable for the long-term rather than continuing to grow out of control.”

“At the same time,” the letter notes, “mindful of the status quo elections and past exchanges on these questions, we recognize it would be counterproductive to publicly or privately propose entitlement reforms that you and leaders of your party appear unwilling to support in the near term.”

The letter proposes $800 billion in new revenues, which “would be generated through pro-growth tax reform that closes special-interest loopholes and deductions while lowering rates.”  The letter rejects higher tax rates, which the leaders say they will “continue to oppose and will not agree to in order to protect small businesses and our economy.”

The Republican leaders also call for more than $900 billion in mandatory spending cuts, and another $300 billion in discretionary spending cuts “over and above the spending reductions enacted in the Budget Control Act.”   

Meanwhile, in comments to the Business Roundtable Dec. 5, President Obama warned Congress not to tie budget negotiations to debt ceiling votes “and take us to the brink of default once again as part of a budget negotiation,” saying, “I will not play that game.”  The debt is expected to hit the statutory limit of $16.4 trillion by the end of December; however, the Treasury Department can use emergency measures to avert default until early 2013.

Contact:

Dave Moore
Senior Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-828-0559
Email: dbmoore@aamc.org

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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.


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For More Information

Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806
Email: jkleinman@aamc.org