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John Boehner responds: Obama 'moved the goal posts'

July 22, 2011|By Michael A. Memoli
(Alex Wong, Getty Images )

Negotiations on a debt ceiling increase broke down when President Obama made a late push for additional tax increases House Speaker John A. Boehner said late Friday, countering the president's account of the swiftly-deteriorating talks.

Moments after Obama professed to be puzzled at Republicans' unwillingness to accept "an extraordinarily fair deal," Boehner said it was the president who scuttled the plan.

"The White House moved the goal posts," he said, with Obama demanding $400 billion in revenues beyond what the two had already agreed to. "It's the president who walked away from his agreement and demanded more money at the last minute."

The Ohio Republican also said Democrats also weren't serious about cutting spending and true entitlement reform. He said dealing with the White House "is like dealing with a bowl of Jell-O."

Boehner said he would immediately begin working with fellow lawmakers to reach a solution to avoid a federal default. He said he would also attend the meeting Obama called for at the White House on Saturday.

"If the White House won't get serious, we will," he said.

Even after the day's events -- and the president's tough rhetoric -- Boehner said the relationship between the two was not "permanently damaged" and that he still trusted Obama.

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