Taxes are still the stumbling block in deficit talks, Boehner says

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said on Monday he "wants to get there" regarding a deficit-reduction and debt-ceiling agreement with President Obama and Democrats.

But just minutes before he and other Republican and Democratic congressional leaders began an afternoon meeting with Obama at the White House, Boehner said the issue of taxes continues to be a major roadblock to a deal.

"I want to do what I think is in the best interests of the country," said Boehner. "But it takes two to tango-and they [Democrats] clearly are not there yet."

Boehner repeated that he and other congressional Republicans will not agree to any more taxes as part of a package -- and he insisted that he, personally, has never made any such agreement on his own. He said it would not pass the House and Senate on a bipartisan basis, anyhow.

Boehner's short news conference came after a separate briefing earlier by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., during which the No. 2 Republican in the House suggested that his caucus-merely by agreeing to talk about raising the nation's $14.3 trillion debt limit-was providing a concession in negotiations.

Cantor, too, said the issue of taxes remains the "irreconcilable difference" between Republicans and Democrats.

"Barack Obama wants to raise taxes and Republicans don't," he said.

But Cantor said Republicans were entering Monday afternoon's meeting at the White House hoping to delve deeper into a potential package of $2.4 trillion in spending cuts, the blueprint for which he said was developed in earlier talks led by Vice President Joe Biden. Those talks, he said, identified $300 billion in non-health care spending, about $350 billion in health care-related entitlement savings and at least $1 trillion in savings from discretionary programs and interest savings.

Cantor said there are no plans for a short-term contingency plan-his aides say House Republicans remain opposed to that, just as Obama said earlier on Monday that he is. But there remained no clearer answer to how-or even whether-a compromise will be reached by the August 2 deadline, when Treasury says the United States could begin defaulting on some of its obligations.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.