Weigel

Boehner: Yes, Please Stop Talking About Tax Increases in the Debt Deal

John Boehner didn’t reveal any daylight between his position and Eric Cantor’s position on debt ceiling talks. The difference: Cantor’s out, he’s not.

“I understand his frustration,” said Boehner. “I understand why he did what he did… I’ve talked to the majority leader about these talks. I know the frustration he feels when Democrats insist on bringing tax hikes.”

How would Boehner fill the chasm now that Cantor and Kyl are out? “I would expect to hear from” the White House, he said. Would he call them? Next question.

Boehner amplified Cantor’s main point – there would be no deal with tax increases.

“They [Democrats] want more stimulus spending and higher taxes,” he said. “We have been clear. Tax hikes are off the table. A tax hike cannot pass the U.S. House of Representatives… these conversations could continue if they take the tax hikes out of the conversation.”

The only wiggle room, unsurprisingly, was about the question of tax hikes versus some other revenue-enhancers – ending tax breaks. There was no specificity there, but asked whether he ruled out both hikes and ending tax breaks as ways of solving the problem, Boehner only said “tax hikes.”