Rep. John Boehner, speaker of the House from that state that calls the presidential elections, made it clear this week that he is ready to start doing business with the White House.
The speaker says Republicans are “willing to accept new revenue under the right conditions.”
That means expansion of the tax base with the elimination of loopholes — something Boehner has long signaled a willingness to accept so long as this is accompanied by deep spending cuts.
His words may sound no different from where he’s been before (see Richard Rubin and Kathleen Hunter’s coverage).
What’s different is the timing — with the expiration 0f the Bush-era tax cuts slated at year’s end, and automatic spending cuts looming if no agreement is reached, the imperative for cutting a deal is big. The re-elected President Barack Obama has engaged with Boehner and other leaders by phone this week, and he has returned to Washington.
Obama wants to raise tax rates for the wealthiest. Boehner refuses. Boehner wants to look at entitlement spending. Obama may have to.
Now it’s a question of finding the “right conditions” for an agreement.
Here’s what Boehner had to say about all this: