The Straits Times
Published on Nov 08, 2012

Republicans offer Obama short-term 'cliff' fix


WASHINGTON (AFP) - Republicans laid down negotiating terms on the looming "fiscal cliff" on Wednesday, telling just re-elected President Barack Obama they would accept closing loopholes but not higher tax rates to boost revenues.

House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said that Republicans were ready to make a short-term fix to avert the economy-crunching spending cuts and higher taxes slated to come into law on Jan 1.

But he said a longer-term deal to cut the country's debt and deficit burden would have to rely on a shakeup of the tax code - cutting loopholes and special breaks - to boost government revenues rather than Democrat-favoured tax increases.

"Mr President, the Republican majority here in the House stands ready to work with you to do what's best for our country," Mr Boehner said.