Speaker John Boehner today reaffirmed that he is willing to accept revenue as part of a balanced deficit reduction deal, but said he will not accept a hike on tax rates for high-income earners.
The Ohio Republican’s remarks came in his first speech since Tuesday’s election results. He urged President Barack Obama to lead on the issue and stressed that he and Congressional leadership can find common ground.
“For purposes of forging a bipartisan agreement that begins to solve the problem, we’re willing to accept new revenue, under the right conditions,” Boehner said. “What matters is where the increased revenue comes from, and what type of reform comes with it.
“In order to garner Republican support for new revenues, the president must be willing to reduce spending and shore up the entitlement programs that are the primary drivers of our debt,” he continued.
The Speaker’s comments lay down a marker for the Republican position heading into the lame-duck negotiations over the “fiscal cliff.” Although Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who also retained his majority, said today that he sees the election as a mandate to raise tax rates, Boehner is standing firm.
“Mr. President, this is your moment. We’re ready to be led, not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans,” Boehner said. “We want you to lead, not as a liberal or a conservative, but as the President of the United States of America.”