“I don’t know whether we can come to a big agreement,” said Boehner in an interview aired Sunday on on ABC’s “This Week.” Boehner said that increasing taxes on Americans was a non-starter for Republicans.
Fellow Republican, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said on “Fox News Sunday” however that his party may be open to creating revenue with tax reform, if Democrats are open to making structural changes in entitlements such as Medicare.
So which is it? President Obama, against the wishes of many Democrats, has said he would consider entitlement reform.
We know that Democrats and Republicans won’t cross the aisle to talk to one another, but now I question if they talk to each other within their own ranks.
John Boehner said that he “completely trusts” the President, but doubts that a grand bargain on the deficit is attainable.
The President made to trips to Capitol Hill this week to talk to both chambers about several issues with the deficit and the budget always at the forefront. Republicans are apparently standing steadfast to their cry for budget cuts, and refuse to budge on increased revenue in the form of tax reform. (The public stands with the President in a poll by a whopping 79%.)
In a closed door meeting, Republicans appeared to be focused on a 10 year plan to balance the budget, while the President said that his focus was on the economy and jobs.
When asked if there was room for compromise between the two positions,
Boehner said that of President Obama “believes that we have to have more taxes from the American people, we’re not going to get very far.”
“If the president doesn’t believe that the goal oughta be to balance the budget over the next ten years– I don’t– not sure we’re gonna get very far,” Boehner cautioned.
There exist budget plans in both the House and the Senate, and are expected to be voted on this week. But neither plan, as they are now written, will pass in the other chamber.
The No. 2 ranking Senate Democrat, Dick Durbin (Mich.), believes that there is room for negotiation between the House and Senate versions.
“We’ve got to pass this budget resolution in the Senate … and then we’re going to move to the next stage, and that is the grand bargain stage, that’s what the president is trying to set up, both sides sitting down on a bipartisan basis not trying to eliminate Medicare … putting revenues on the table that are fair … and making sure it’s a balanced approach,” Durbin said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Boehner further said that although he and the President had a “very good relationship”, he feels there is an impasse.
“We’re trying to bridge some big differences,” Boehner noted, adding that though the country is not facing “an immediate debt crisis,” in light of the changes that Congress has taken over the past few years. But he warned that there is a major crisis “looming,” in the “entitlement programs that are not sustainable in their current form.
“I think Republicans if they saw true entitlement reform would be glad to look at tax reform that generates additional revenues, and that doesn’t mean increasing rates that means closing loopholes, that also means arranging our tax system so that we have economic growth,” Corker said.
It appears that the Republicans have to decide on which position will be presented to the President. But the question still rises, “can they reach a compromise within their own party?
Columnist-The Guardian Express