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Boehner Plans to Raise Tax Cuts With Obama

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Presumptive Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Wednesday he plans to talk with President Barack Obama about making all the Bush tax cuts permanent during their meeting next week.

Obama will host the newly elected leaders of both parties at the White House on Nov. 18.

House Republicans have pushed for an extension of all the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts.

Earlier this year, Obama had indicated he would support an extension of the middle-class cuts but wanted to let tax cuts expire for individuals in the top income bracket as a way to begin helping the federal government deal with its deficit problem.

The president has since retooled this message and said he would be willing to compromise with Republicans on the tax cut issue.

“You can’t invest when you don’t know what the rules are, when you don’t know what the tax rates are going to be next year,” Boehner said. “That’s why making these [cuts] permanent would be the most important thing we could do to create jobs in the country.”

He said he would also talk to the president about ways to reduce federal spending.

Asked whether spending cuts would include reducing the number of workers in the federal government, Boehner said he believed strongly in a federal hiring freeze.

“If you look at the ‘Pledge to America,’ we say that there ought to be a freeze on the hiring of new federal employees and we have to freeze pay,” he said. “It’s gotten to a point where the average federal worker makes twice as much as the average private sector worker.”

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