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Boehner Reaffirms No-Go Tax Stance: 'We're Not Raising Rates

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House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday roundly dismissed a fellow Republican's proposal to hold off on the fight to extend tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, declaring, "we're not raising rates."

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a former chairman of the National Republican Campaign Committee, urged colleagues privately on Tuesday to ensure tax cuts for 98 percent of taxpayers remain in place before the "fiscal cliff" deadline rather than getting bogged down in a battle for the top 2 percent of earners, Politico reported.

Cole called for Republicans to join with President Barack Obama for a quick deal before the year-end deadline that will automatically trigger higher taxes and abrupt spending cuts. Obama, who made letting the George W. Bush-era tax rates expire for the wealthiest Americans a hallmark of his re-election campaign, would essentially be handed a major victory if such a deal came to pass.

Boehner (R-Ohio) said Wednesday he wasn't having it.

“I told Tom earlier in our conference meeting that I disagreed with him,” Boehner told reporters after a House GOP Conference meeting, The Hill reported. “He’s a wonderful friend of mine and a great supporter of mine. But raising taxes on the so-called top 2 percent – half of those people are small-business owners that pay their taxes through their personal income tax filing every year. The goal here is to grow the economy and to cut spending."

He added, “We’re not going to grow the economy if we raise tax rates on the top two rates. It’ll hurt small businesses. It’ll hurt our economy. That’s why it’s not the right approach. We’ll willing to put revenue on the table as long as we’re not raising rates.”

Obama has called for tax rates to go up on individual incomes exceeding $200,000 and on family incomes greater than $250,000.

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