Boehner 'optimistic' about tax reform

Boehner is, in fact, more optimistic than many of his fellow lawmakers on Capitol Hill, who see tax reform as an area to pursue but are skeptical that a package can be completed before the end of next year.

Just a couple of months into the current Congress, potential sticking points on tax reform have emerged, including how comprehensive an overhaul should be and whether a plan should be revenue-neutral at first.

Republicans and some business leaders have said changes to the tax code should at first be more concerned about increasing American competitiveness in the global marketplace than how much revenue is collected. 

At the same time, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and other lawmakers have pushed to make tax reform a central piece of a long-term deficit-reduction plan.

In his CNBC interview, Boehner said President Obama could make a good impression with the business community by sending all three pending trade agreements — South Korea, Panama and Colombia — to Congress. 

The administration has finished its work on the South Korea deal and said it is close to being done with Panama and Colombia, but Senate Republicans are vowing to stall a Commerce secretary nominee until the latter two are submitted to Congress.  

The Speaker also said that he wanted a spending measure to fund the rest of the fiscal year done as soon as possible. On Monday, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the House majority leader, signaled that he hoped the short-term measure the House is expected to consider on Tuesday would be the last of its kind this year.