Boehner Wants Cuts, Obama Budget Has More Than 100

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday said the real issue with so-called fiscal cliff disagreements is about spending, but the White House has already offered a detailed list of cuts.

The White House's fiscal year 2013 budget proposal lists nearly 110 cuts, which include programs under the Departments of Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Defense, Energy and Transportation, among others.

"President Obama and Senate Democrats haven't done much of anything," Boehner said Thursday. "Rather than tell us what they can't do, maybe Democrats should tell us what they can do."

Boehner said the House will vote on his "Plan B" proposal and, if passed (which appears likely), will send it for a Senate vote.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) on Thursday spoke publicly and said the upper chamber of Congress would flatly reject the House proposal.

Boehner has found himself in a tough political position as the November elections saw a wide margin of victory for the president and Democratic pickups in the Senate House. It was a referendum of sorts that American voters favored Democratic policies over the GOP. Earlier Thursday, a report emerged that a White House official claimed Boehner couldn't get enough votes from Republicans for his own bill to succeed in the House.

Boehner's rhetoric may be packing less of a punch. He has repeatedly called on the president to specify spending cuts, but a glance at Obama's budget proposal lists 108 programs that would be partially or totally cut in 2013.

Major U.S. equity indices shrugged off Boehner's press conference as the Dow Jones Industrial Average S&P 500 and Nasdaq all ticked higher after his appearance.

Time clearly is running short for legislators to pass some sort of deal that keeps across-the-board tax hikes from slamming all Americans. With a proper budget proposal that outlines specific cuts, and counter-proposals that show the president making concessions, Obama appears to have the upper ground. In other words, failure to avert the fiscal cliff could place hard blame on Boehner and Republicans.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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