Still, Boehner said Wednesday that a compromise is possible.
"We're ready and eager to talk to the president and get to work with him to make sure that the American people aren't disadvantaged by what's happening here in Washington," he said at a press conference.
Obama spoke to a business roundtable of CEOs on Wednesday, saying Democrats were prepared to make "some tough decisions" on spending, something dear to Republicans.
After the speech, Boehner's office released a statement with the headline: "Is the White House Walking Away From Fiscal Cliff Negotiations?" The House speaker's office posited the question based on the president's comment during the roundtable discussion that the budget can't be done without revenue, which is language for new taxes. GOP leaders won't consider raising taxes on any American, regardless of income.
Boehner released another statement Wednesday afternoon that challenged the president's refusal to accept the Republican proposal.
"If our offer is not acceptable to the president, then he has an obligation to show leadership by presenting a credible plan of his own that can pass both houses of Congress," Boehner said in the statement.
For the moment, that is to say, on Dec. 5, fiscal-cliff talks appear to be stalled.
And it doesn't take an economist to tell you that.
-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.