WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans are again demanding that President Barack Obama name specific cuts in government spending that he would support as part of any compromise aimed at avoiding the "fiscal cliff."
Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell says Obama seems to think that if he only talks about taxes, Americans will "forget that government spending is completely out of control." McConnell says there are plenty of programs worth cutting, saying taxpayers "just spent $325,000 on a robotic squirrel named RoboSquirrel."
The White House responds that it made an offer with "very specific" cuts -- including more than $300 billion in proposed Medicare savings, and another $250 billion in non-health benefit programs.
House Speaker John Boehner (BAY'-nur) says Republicans have offered a plan that's "consistent with the president's call for a balanced approach." And he says he's waiting for the White House to do the same.
Meanwhile, the White House is coming under renewed pressure from within his own party, as liberal Democratic senators warn him against cutting the Medicaid health care program. They say cuts in the program that covers nearly 60 million low-income and disabled people shouldn't be accepted as a trade-off with Republicans in exchange for higher income tax rates on the highest earners.
183-a-09-(House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Califd, in remarks)-"dollars in cuts"-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says Democrats have delinerated what cuts they'd accept. (11 Dec 2012)
175-a-15-(Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Senate floor)-"insisting on balance"-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says the president and Democrats are avoiding a key issue in the fiscal cliff talks. (11 Dec 2012)
180-a-09-(House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in remarks)-"the fiscal cliff"-House Speaker John Boehner says the president needs to specify the areas where he's willing to cut spending. (11 Dec 2012)
APPHOTO DCSA103: House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio walks to the House floor to deliver remarks about negotiations with President Barack Obama on the fiscal cliff, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Boehner said President Barack Obama is slow-walking talks to avoid the fiscal cliff, and hasn't outlined spending cuts he's willing to support as part of a compromise. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (11 Dec 2012)
APPHOTO NY108: President Barack Obama speaks to workers about the economy during a visit to Daimler Detroit Diesel in Redford, Mich., Monday, Dec. 10, 2012. The scene playing out on Capitol Hill is a familiar one as lawmakers with competing ideologies wage an 11th-hour battle to avert a predictable crisis. This one comes just a year after an equally divided Washington nearly let the country default on its loan obligations, a debt-ceiling debate that contributed to the electorate's deep lack of faith in their elected leaders and a drop in the nation's credit rating. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (10 Dec 2012)