Boehner: GOP Open to New Tax Revenue Via Deal

November 7, 2012 09:43 AM
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via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

Links revenue to major deficit-reduction agreement including entitlement, tax reform

NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Republicans are open to new tax revenue under a major deficit reduction-agreement that would include a comprehensive overhaul of the tax system and address growth in entitlements.

Boehner’s remarks described the conditions for a deal similar to one that he and President Obama nearly struck last year to reduce the deficit by up to $4 trillion over 10 years. Speaking on the day after Obama won a second term with 332 electoral votes, Boehner sought a conciliatory tone, saying, “Mr. President, this is your moment. We want you to succeed.”

Boehner called for “a down payment” on deficit reduction during the lame-duck session of Congress and said Republicans would accept “new revenue” – but not higher tax rates – in a broader agreement next year. He dismissed the possibility of a grand bargain on the deficit before the end of the year, breaking with comments made just hours earlier by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who said he did not want to “kick the can” into 2013.

“We won't solve the problem of our fiscal imbalance overnight, in the midst of a lame duck session of Congress,” Boehner said in prepared remarks. “And we certainly won't solve it by simply raising tax rates or taking a plunge off the fiscal cliff.

“What we can do,” Boehner continued, “is avert the cliff in a manner that serves as a down payment on – and a catalyst for – major solutions, enacted in 2013, that begin to solve the problem.”

“For purposes of forging a bipartisan agreement that begins to solve the problem, we’re willing to accept new revenue, under the right conditions,” Boehner said. “What matters is where the increased revenue comes from, and what type of reform comes with it.”

“Does the increased revenue come from government taking a larger share of what the American people earn through higher tax rates? “ he said. “Or does it come as the byproduct of a growing economy, energized by a simpler, cleaner, fairer tax code, with fewer loopholes, and lower rates for all?”

Boehner said any new revenue must be coupled with spending cuts and significant entitlement reform, matching his conditions during his talks with Obama last year.

He finished with a call for Obama to lead and said to the president, “We want you to succeed.”

“Let's challenge ourselves to find the common ground that has eluded us,” Boehner concluded. “Let's rise above the dysfunction, and do the right thing together for our country in a bipartisan way.”

Boehner earlier told his colleagues to remain unified in what they do. "Divided we fail; not just next session but the next two months," he was quoted as saying, a reference to the upcoming post-election lame-duck session scheduled to begin Nov. 13.

Comments: Elections have consequences and they are already having an impact. But those viewing Washington know that words are just words -- they want to see actual announcements of an agreement.

NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.






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