Late Saturday evening, a source from the White House said the Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) had put tax rate hikes on the table in fiscal cliff negotiations. The White House promptly rejected the offer, since Boehner also wanted entitlement reform as a compromise. But the announcement is likely to exacerbate the war within the Republican Party with regard to tax policy in the run-up to the fiscal cliff.
According to a Reuters source, Boehner agreed to a tax rate hike of an unspecified size on high earners – a term the source left undefined. The source said that Obama thought that the offer represented “progress.”
Politico reports that Boehner wants to raise taxes for those earning upward of $1 million beginning January 1. Obama and Boehner also talked on Friday, but sources told Politico (the White House’s favorite outlet) that the deal isn’t close yet. Boehner refused to extend federal unemployment benefits again in his offer. He also reportedly refused to raise the debt ceiling; Obama continues to maintain that he be given unilateral authority to raise the debt ceiling.
Multiple House Republicans have already stated that should Boehner cave on tax increases, his job as speaker would be put in jeopardy.