In a speech at the Economic Club of Washington, Boehner prodded the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to set the groundwork for tax reform that would lower the corporate rate and close loopholes — the preferred GOP method for cleaning up the nation’s tax system. Tax increases, Boehner said, are not an option as they seek to close a gaping $14 trillion budget hole.
“The Joint Select Committee can tackle tax reform, and it should,” Boehner said. “It’s probably not realistic to think the Joint Committee could rewrite the tax code by Nov. 23. But it can certainly lay the groundwork by then for tax reform in the future that will enhance the environment for economic growth. The committee can develop principles for broad-based tax reform that will lower rates for individuals and corporations while closing deductions, credits, and special carveouts in our tax code. And I hope it will.”
The speaker also threw his weight behind entitlement reform, something that House Republicans did in their own budget, authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Budget Committee.
After delivering his jobs speech, Speaker Boehner answered questions from the audience. He is reported to have loosened up and enjoyed the give and take. Speaking about the 87 freshmen who are largely identified as Tea Partiers, Boehner said they are not the "headaches" that are portrayed media as such for him as Leader. He said, in fact, it is the longtime Republican Representatives that are a thorn in his side. "Nothing I do is ever good enough. I understand that. There's always some...They stir up problems. It's just to be expected."
That's the headline - Boehner works well with the Tea Party wing of the party. Despite the best efforts of the administration and the DNC to proclaim that it is the Tea Party freshmen who are throwing Boehner off the GOP agenda, Boehner refuses to play that game. This narrative is deliberately employed to divide the party. Boehner is a savvy negotiator and puts in the time to find the best solutions.
Boehner re-affirmed his belief that tax increases are off the table. He said that tax increases are jobs killers and the twelve person super committee is a jobs committee. He encourages them to be bolder than in their original parameters.