Geithner seizes on Boehner tax comment

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Monday seized on House Minority Leader John Boehner's (R-Ohio) suggestion that he would support an extension of middle-class tax cuts if there were no way to extend cuts for the wealthy as well.

In a speech before the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, Geithner echoed Democratic efforts to portray Republicans as holding "hostage" middle-class tax cuts.

"We welcome recent indications that Republicans won’t hold middle-class tax cuts hostage to their desire to have us go out and borrow $700 billion from our children just to make permanent tax cuts for the top 2 percent earners in the country," Geithner said in prepared remarks. "If they mean what they say, there’s no reason to delay moving ahead with tax relief for the middle class."

After he made the comment on Sunday, Boehner said in a statement that raising taxes on anyone at the moment is "the exact wrong thing to do."

Centrist Democrats in the House and Senate are pushing for an extension of all of the tax cuts, including for the middle class and those making more than $200,000. If Congress does not act this year, the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts will expire and reset to higher rates.