Aug. 30, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

House GOP Leaders Try to Connect With CEOs

Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call
Boehner and other House GOP leaders will meet with the CEOs of several major U.S. companies Wednesday morning as Congress begins serious negotiations on the fiscal cliff.

Notably, the Bowles-Simpson plan rejected an increase in tax rates in favor of a tax overhaul that would lower overall rates but take in revenue by eliminating deductions — the method Boehner and others in the GOP have been pushing of late as a way to increase taxes.

That plan may not pass at the White House, however. Obama has said that he will veto any deal that extends the 2001 and 2003 tax rates for individuals making more than $250,000 annually. All of those tax rates will expire Jan. 1.

Obama made that position clear to business executives earlier this month, telling them that he hopes to decouple middle-class tax rates from tax increases on the wealthy. But the president has also used vague language to give himself some wiggle room in negotiations with Congress.

In fact, the GOP’s meeting comes exactly two weeks after Obama met with 12 executives from some of the nation’s largest companies. Two of those CEOs — Honeywell’s David Cote and Aetna’s Mark Bertolini — will also be at the meeting with GOP leaders Wednesday.

The Capitol Hill meeting will also include some new faces. Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, Doug Oberhelman of Caterpillar, Thomas Wilson of Allstate and Gregg Sherrill of Tenneco will also join the group, as will Nicholas Calio, CEO of Airlines for America, an airline trade organization.

This will be the second time in as many months that Boehner meets with Bowles, who was President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff. Bowles and former Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., another member of the Campaign to Fix the Debt, requested and received a meeting with Boehner in September to speak about the fiscal cliff.

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