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Posted at 11:54 AM ET, 06/24/2011

Boehner: Tax hikes in a debt deal proposal ‘cannot pass’ House

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Friday reiterated his pledge to oppose any comprehensive deficit-reduction deal that increases taxes, one day after congressional Republicans abruptly pulled out of the debt-limit talks being led by Vice President Biden over an impasse on the issue.

“The president and his party may want a debt limit increase that includes tax hikes, but such a proposal cannot pass the House,” Boehner said in his statement Friday morning.

“The president and his party may want a debt limit increase without spending cuts that exceed the amount of the debt limit hike, but such a proposal cannot pass the House. The president and his party may want a debt limit increase without budget reforms that will restrict Washington’s ability to spend in the future, but such a proposal cannot pass the House. These are the realities of the situation.”

Boehner added that any deal to increase the country’s $14.3 trillion debt limit “is only going to happen via a measure that meets these tests.”

“If the president puts forth such a proposal, he has my word that the House will act on it,” Boehner said. “But a measure that fails to meet these tests cannot pass the House. If the president wants this done, he must lead.”

Boehner’s statement comes one day after he and other Republicans called on Obama to meet directly with GOP leaders in order to resolve the impasse on tax increases. The issue represents one of the fundamental philosophical differences between both parties that the congressional negotiators only this week attempted to address in the debt-limit talks.

Democrats have insisted that revenue increases be part of any final deal, while Republicans have opposed such a move and have argued that any plan raising taxes would not pass the House.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), one of the leaders in the budget talks, are scheduled to hold a conference call at noon Friday to discuss their response to Republicans on the debt-limit talks. The parties face an Aug. 2 deadline set by the Treasury Department to raise the debt limit before the country risks defaulting on its debt obligations.

By  |  11:54 AM ET, 06/24/2011

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