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December 07, 2012

Boehner won't rule out higher tax rates

House Speaker John Boehner Friday would not rule out higher income tax rates--but also said he's seen little progress in deficit reduction talks with President Barack Obama.

Obama has long insisted that tax rates on the wealthy must go up next year. The current top rates of 33 and 35 percent would go to 36 and 39.6 percent unless Congress acts.

Republicans have resisted, but their attitude has been shifting slowly in recent days, as some lawmakers have said they could accept higher rates.

Boehner was asked Friday at a news conference if he could accept higher rates and "protect small business at the same time."

He answered, "There are a lot of things that are possible to put the revenue that the president seeks on the table."

But, Boehner, R-Ohio, added, "none of it is going to be possible if the president insists on his position, insists on 'my way or the highway.'''

 House Republicans offered a deficit reduction package Monday but have not gotten a White House counteroffer.

“This isn’t a progress report because there’s no progress to report,” he said, adding, "The White House has wasted another week.”

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