Boehner Insists He Won’t Budge on Tax Hikes

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 17 2013 3:06 PM

John Boehner: “The Talk About Raising Revenue Is Over”

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House Speaker John Boehner says he has a "very good relationship" with President Obama and "absolutely" trusts him

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Some conversations just don’t change a thing. Despite high hopes after a week of meetings between President Obama and Capitol Hill Republicans, House Speaker John Boehner said Sunday everything is pretty much as it was.

“It’s always a good thing to engage in more conversation,” Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said on ABC. “But when you get down to the bottom line, the president believes that we have to have more taxes from the American people. We’re not going to get very far.” Boehner insists Obama “got his tax hikes on January 1” and now any “talk about raising revenue is over. It’s time to deal with the spending problem.”

Although Boehner says he agrees with Obama that the country does not have “an immediate debt crisis” he was sure to point out that “we have one looming.”

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Yet Republican Sen. Bob Corker sounded a tad more flexible than Boehner when he was asked about potential compromises. “I think Republicans, if they saw true entitlement reform, would be glad to look at tax reform that generates additional revenue,” the senator from Tennessee told Fox News.

In his meetings with lawmakers last week, Obama told Democrats they should be more willing to revise entitlement programs in return for Republicans giving in on the revenue front. Corker said that if Obama “gets serious” about “true entitlement reform” Republicans might be willing to compromise on tax reform, although he insisted it would have to be through closing loopholes and not tax increases.  

And in what might be the most unsurprising news of the weekend, Boehner told ABC he “can’t imagine” changing his position on marriage equality, reports Politico. "Listen, I believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman,” he said. "And I can't imagine that position would ever change."

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.