Boehner: Extend tax cuts for two years, cap spending at '08 levels

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) proposed capping spending at 2008 levels and extending expiring income tax cuts as potential areas of compromise with President Obama.

Boehner, the man who would presumably become speaker if the GOP wins control of the House this fall, said he wanted to "work on a bipartisan basis" to advance the two priorities.

"Today, what I'd like to do is work on a bipartisan basis to do two things," Boehner said during an appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America."

Boehner said he wanted to work to cap spending at 2008 levels, a move that the GOP leader said would save $100 billion this year alone. He also wants to freeze all tax rates — including the tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year — by two years, a plan endorsed Tuesday by Obama's former budget director.

"Why wouldn't we work together to make clear that all current tax rates are extended for the next two years?" Boehner asked.

The proposals are part of a Republican effort to frame their party as solutions-oriented, especially as Obama and other Democratic leaders sharpen their rhetoric against the GOP, especially Boehner.

Obama will speak on the economy Wednesday in Cleveland, in direct response to an economic address Boehner delivered in August on the same topic. Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tim Kaine will also assail the minority leader during a "major national address" in Philadelphia.

Boehner said on ABC that he's "open" to Obama's ideas, though the president is also expected to reject any compromise on extending the expiring tax cuts during his speech today, according to the New York Times.

Instead, the Ohio Republican said Obama's focus on him showed that the White House is "panicked" by his message and the possibility of heavy Republican wins this fall.

"Instead of working on getting the economy going again and getting people back to work, the White House is panicked over what I've got to say," Boehner said Tuesday evening on CNBC.

Whatever the case, Boehner remains relatively unknown in the public despite the Obama administration's efforts to elevate him.

Twenty-two percent of American adults said in a CNN/Opinion Research poll released Wednesday that they had a favorable opinion of Boehner, while 23 had an unfavorable opinion. Thirty-nine percent had never heard of the top House Republican, and 16 percent had formed no opinion about him. 

Updated 9:15 a.m.