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Boehner Calls Tax-Law Rewrite One of ‘Highest’ Priorities

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner reiterated his opposition to higher tax revenue, saying the president has a different view. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said one of his “highest” priorities is to overhaul the U.S. tax system.

In remarks prepared for a speech to the Credit Union National Association in Washington today, Boehner said Congress should curtail tax breaks “as part of tax reform that lowers rates and helps create jobs.”

“It’s time we shift the balance of power from the tax collector to the taxpayer,” Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said in prepared remarks. The speaker said he supported efforts to rewrite the tax code by Michigan Representative Dave Camp, chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee.

Boehner reiterated his opposition to higher tax revenue.

“The president has a different view: The first thing he wants to do about taxes is have more of them,” Boehner said, adding that Congress passed higher taxes for top earners in January as part of a deal to avert tax increases for all income levels.

“Higher tax rates are not the answers to our problems. Spending is the problem, and spending cuts are the solution,” Boehner said.

Boehner is reserving the bill number H.R. 1 for the rewrite of the U.S. tax system, said Kevin Smith, a spokesman for the Ohio Republican. In the last Congress, that bill number was used for Republicans’ attempt to cut discretionary spending. In 2009, then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, reserved H.R. 1 for the economic stimulus law.

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