Boehner: 'No Substantive Progress' Made on the Cliff

As House Speaker talks of breakdown, stock market sells on uncertainty.


House Speaker John Boehner talks with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor following a closed strategy session on Nov. 28, 2012.

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House Speaker John Boehner painted a bleak picture of fiscal cliff negotiations Thursday during a meeting with reporters. And in the 10 minutes he spoke, the stock market briefly dropped like a rock.

Boehner said he is disappointed in how slow the negotiations are developing and how little progress has been made over the past three weeks.

[READ: Top Business Leader Warns of Falling Off the Fiscal Cliff]

The speaker reiterated his commitment to keeping the country from waking up Jan. 2 without a deal, but said at this point, he's waiting on the White House to commit to specific funding cuts.

"Right now, all eyes are on the White House," Boehner said. "The country doesn't need a victory lap, they need leadership."

While he spoke the Dow Jones Industrial average tumbled more than 50 points in a few minutes, but slowly ticked back up after the press conference.

The president traveled to Pennsylvania Wednesday touting his plan to extend Bush-era tax cuts for those making less than $250,000, but has yet to make any major announcement on what cuts to entitlements he's willing to sign onto.

"I have made clear that we have put real concessions on the line by putting revenues on the table up front," Boehner said. "I would hope the White House would get serious as well."

[READ: House Republicans Don't See Eye-to-Eye on Fiscal Cliff]

Boehner also announced he's willing to raise the debt ceiling to avoid another showdown early into the 113th Congress, but said "everything comes with a price."

Boehner and Obama spoke on the phone Wednesday night in a talk the speaker described as "a very nice conversation" that was "straightforward."

"No substantive progress has been made in the talks between the White House and the House in the last two weeks," Boehner said.

The White House sent Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and White House aide Rob Nabors to The Hill Thursday to discuss the cliff with lawmakers. The White House liaisons will visit Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Lauren Fox is a political reporter for U.S. News and World Report. You can follow her on Twitter or reach her at