President Obama rejects Republican "Plan B", Boehner calls for "balanced approach".
President obama said Wednesday the lessons of Newtown should apply to the fiscal cliff.
"If this past week has done anything it should just give us some perspective," Mr. Obama said.
Perspective, he charged, that House Speaker John Boehner and Republicans have lost.
After a crippling recession and devastating hurricane, the president argued America deserves stability and compromise in Washington.
The president says he's compromised on spending, offering entitlement cuts so deep some Democrats are objecting.
"The fact that they haven't taken it yet is puzzling," he said.
Speaker Boehner responded with a terse 50 second statement, charging the Obama plan still emphasizes tax hikes over spending cuts.
"I hope the president will get serious soon about providing and working with us on a balanced approach," Mr. Boehner said.
Could the hang-up be personal?
The president thinks so.
"It is very hard for them to say yes to ME," he said.
Boehner will have the House vote "no" tomorrow, setting the cutoff for tax rate hikes at a million dollars a year and rejecting the latest Obama plan to raise taxes on people making $400,000.
Despite the harsh rhetoric, leaders on both sides say a deal to avoid the cliff is still possible before Christmas.