Few details are being released publicly about the negotiations over the so-called "fiscal cliff" -- raising hopes that talks between the White House and House Speaker John Boehner continue in earnest behind closed doors -- but the two sides revived their public skirmishing today.
On the House floor today, Boehner called on President Obama to name what spending cuts he would accept in a deal to avert the "cliff," a series of tax hikes and across-the-board spending cuts set to kick in next year.
"The longer the White House slow walks this process, the closer our economy gets to the fiscal cliff," Boehner said.
His remarks follow a meeting with the president at the White House on Sunday. "It was a nice meeting, it was cordial," Boehner said, "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 that he promised the American people."
The Obama administration was quick to respond via Twitter, where White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer wrote, "The irony of this is that the White House offer had very specific cuts, the GOP counteroffer had almost none."
White House spokesman Jay Carney added later, "It is simply uncontestable we have put forward a plan on spending cuts."
The White House's proposal calls for $1.6 trillion in new taxes raised in part by raising income tax rates on the wealthiest Americans, as well as $600 billion in spending cuts that were detailed in the White House budget. The White House says it can find around $400 billion in spending cuts just in savings in entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
Boehner, meanwhile, has put forward a plan to raise $800 billion in new tax revenue and make $1.2 trillion in spending cuts -- he hasn't, however, put forward specific spending cut requests. Today, he reiterated his call for the president to make a second offer in response to the GOP plan.
"If the president doesn't agree with our approach, he has an obligation to put forward a plan that can pass both chambers," Boehner said. "Right now the people have to be scratching their heads and wondering when is the president going to get serious."
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell today similarly said, "When it came to offering his idea of a balanced approach, the president was vague about cuts but very specific in his request for more government spending."
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who spoke after Boehner on the House floor today, noted that Democrats have already agreed to $1.6 trillion in spending cuts through the Budget Control Act and other recent legislation.
"Where are the revenues?" she asked, pressing for Republicans to agree to tax increases. "The Republicans refuse to touch one hair on the head of the wealthiest people in our country."