House Speaker John Boehner isn’t interested in “raising tax rates” as part of a deal to avoid the year-end “fiscal cliff” of expiring tax cuts and spending reductions, the Ohio Republican has told National Journal.
Boehner, in an interview fist published yesterday, predicted that Congress and President Barack Obama would strike some sort of short-term deal in the post-election, lame-duck session that starts next week, rather than a grand deficit-reduction bargain.
“The most likely outcome would be some type of a bridge,” he was quoted as saying.
Unless Congress acts, automatic spending cuts, known as sequestration, will begin in January and the George W. Bush tax cuts will expire Dec. 31. Obama and congressional Democrats want to let the tax cuts expire on top earners, while Republicans, including Boehner, advocate extending them for all income levels.
Some congressional Republicans, especially in the Senate, have said they may be willing to consider eliminating certain tax breaks to help pay for the cost of eliminating automatic cuts to defense programs. In the portion of the interview published by National Journal, Boehner did not address the prospect of eliminating tax breaks — rather reiterated his opposition to rate increases.
“I think it’s important that we avoid the fiscal cliff, but that doesn’t mean I’m interested in raising tax rates and killing jobs,” he said.