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article imageBoehner walks out of talks, says Obama demanded more revenue

By Michael Krebs     Jul 23, 2011 in Politics
Speaking at a news conference on Friday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) explained his decision to walk away from the debt ceiling talks and said it was the president who walked away from the original agreement between them.
Talks between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) appeared once again to have fallen apart on Friday, after Boehner walked out "to back away from the tree and take a look at the forest."
Boehner characterized his decision as a reaction to President Obama's last minute insistence on an additional $400 billion in tax revenue.
"I gave the president's proposal serious understanding. But let's understand something," Boehner told reporters. "There was an agreement. There was an agreement with the White House at $800 billion in revenue. It's the president who walked away from his agreement and demanded more money at the last minute. And the only way to get that extra revenue was to raise taxes."
President Obama hosted a separate news conference and appeared to be visibly frustrated by Boehner's walk out. For the first time, the president declined to assure the public that the U.S. would not default, the Associated Press reported.
Boehner explained his intention to work with his colleagues to find a "responsible path forward" and avoid a default. However, the August 2 deadline is less than two weeks away.
"And I have confidence in the bipartisan leaders of the Congress that can come together and to ensure that we have an agreement that will allow the country to avoid default and meets the principles that we've outlined: spending cuts that must be greater than the increase in the debt limit and no tax increases," Boehner explained. "The discussions we had with the White House have broken down for two reasons. First, they insisted on raising taxes. We had an agreement on a revenue number; a revenue number that we thought we could reach based on a flatter tax code with lower rates and a broader base that would produce more economic growth, more employees and more taxpayers. And a tax system that was more efficient in collecting the taxes that were due the federal government."
The Speaker went on to share his frustration with the White House over what he sees as a White House that "moved the goal post" on revenue.
"Secondly, they refused to get serious about cutting spending and making the tough choices that are facing our country on entitlement reform," Boehner said.
President Obama has summoned Speaker Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for another meeting on the debt ceiling on Saturday morning.
More about Boehner, Obama, Debt ceiling, National debt, Taxes
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