Sec. Timothy Geithner said he cannot promise the fiscal cliff will be averted in an interview Sunday with Fox's Chris Wallace, laying the blame on Republicans.
"No, I can't promise that," Geithner said in the interview. "That is a decision that lies in the hands of the Republicans."
Republicans say the opening offer from the White House is not a serious one. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell "burst into laughter" upon hearing the White House plan, which includes a permanent suspension of Congressional authority over the debt ceiling and $1.6 trillion in tax increases.
Rep. Tom Cole (R., Okla.), who broke with party leadership last week to say he would support tax rate increases for high earners, called the White House plan "just laughable," in an interview with the Weekly Standard.
"He wants control of the debt ceiling," Cole said in the interview, "so he can unilaterally decide how much debt the United States is going to have. I wouldn’t give Ronald Reagan that kind of power, let alone Barack Obama."
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) likewise made headlines last week as one of a handful of Republicans who said he would be willing to raise taxes largely through tax reform if certain preconditions were met.
“I’ll only (raise tax revenues) if we do entitlement reform,” Graham told Bob Schieffer Sunday morning. “The president’s plans when it comes to entitlement reform is, quite frankly, a joke, so I don’t think they’re serious about finding a deal.”
Full interview with Geithner: