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Speaker Boehner Pulls Out of Talks for 'Big Deal' Debt Plan



Speaker John Boehner is pulling out of negotiations for a large-scale deficit reduction plan.

In a statement released by the Ohio Republican Saturday night — just a day before talks with President Barack Obama — Boehner said the “White House will not pursue a bigger debt reduction agreement without tax hikes.”

After speaking with Obama -- who is hosting a key meeting Sunday evening on steps forward on the debt issue -- Boehner issued the following statement:

“Despite good-faith efforts to find common ground, the White House will not pursue a bigger debt reduction agreement without tax hikes. I believe the best approach may be to focus on producing a smaller measure, based on the cuts identified in the Biden-led negotiations, that still meets our call for spending reforms and cuts greater than the amount of any debt limit increase.”

Mr. Boehner and the president met privately at the White House last weekend and the speaker along with the president was a chief advocate of trying to negotiate a large agreement that would include spending cuts, new tax revenues and significant changes to social programs such as Medicare and Medicaid and perhaps even Social Security.

But the speaker, who had suggested Congress could perhaps produce as much as $1 trillion in new revenues, was encountering stiff resistance from fellow Republicans who are determined not to support any package containing proposals that could be construed as a tax increase.

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