House Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerBoehner compares Trump to Teddy Roosevelt Boehner: 'Thank God' I wasn't in the middle of election Ryan delays committee assignments until 2017 MORE (R-Ohio) said Thursday he expects to hear from President Obama after Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorTrump allies warn: No compromise on immigration Chamber of Commerce overhauls lobbying operation Laura Ingraham under consideration for White House press secretary MORE (R-Va.) withdrew from deficit-reduction talks because Democrats were insisting on tax increases.
BoehnerJohn BoehnerBoehner compares Trump to Teddy Roosevelt Boehner: 'Thank God' I wasn't in the middle of election Ryan delays committee assignments until 2017 MORE’s comment could signal that the talks over lifting the federal debt ceiling could shift to a direct negotiation between the Speaker and Obama as an Aug. 2 deadline imposed by the Treasury Department draws closer.
“I understand the frustrations,” Boehner said. “I understand why [Cantor] did what he did. But I think those talks could continue if they’re willing to take the tax hikes off the table.”
Boehner reiterated his call for the president to become more engaged on the debt talks, a demand Cantor also made as he announced his departure from the Biden group. “If we’re going to meet that timeline, the president is going to have to engage,” Boehner said.
Asked if Cantor’s decision meant that Boehner would begin to have private conversations with the president, the Speaker replied: “I would expect to hear from him.”
Democrats have pushed to remove tax breaks for the oil-and-gas industry as part of a deficit-reduction deal, among other changes to the tax code. Cantor has said those items should be dealt with in a separate overhaul of the tax code, but Boehner did not completely close the door to including them in a debt deal.
Asked if he was opposed to eliminating subsidies and other tax expenditures, as well as increases in rates, Boehner replied: “We’ve been opposed to increasing tax rates.”
As for tax rate increases, he said earlier: “A tax hike cannot pass the U.S. House of Representatives. It’s not just a bad idea — it doesn’t have the votes, and it can't happen.”