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Wednesday
Apr132011

GOP Leaders Defiant on President Obama’s Tax Increase Proposal

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- After a meeting at the White House earlier Wednesday, Republican leaders in Congress warned President Obama that they will not agree to raise taxes in an effort to rein in the country’s rising deficits.

Boehner described the White House meeting as “a very frank and serious discussion” about the debt crisis, but suggested he has tough standards for the administration to meet in order to sway his support from House Budget chairman Paul Ryan’s budget plan to address the deficit.

“All of us understand that this debt that hangs over our head hurts our economy and hurts our ability to create jobs in America,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said. “In order to move forward, I think Paul Ryan has set the bar in terms of the kind of targets that we need to meet and the kind of serious effort that is required given the debts that we have.”

“I fully support Paul Ryan’s budget, including his efforts on Medicare,” Boehner added. “But I think all of us understand that not meeting our obligations – our debt obligations – is a very bad idea, and nobody wants to take that risk.”

The House Speaker was joined by the Senate’s top Republican, Mitch McConnell, his deputy Sen. Jon Kyl, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

McConnell warned that the upper chamber of Congress will not agree to the administration’s request to raise the country’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling unless “significant” action is taken to reduce the red ink.

McConnell declined to provide specifics about what “significant” action entails, but said “the definition is what we do is viewed as credible by the markets, by the American people and by foreign countries.”

Following the press conference, Kyl -- the No. 2 Senate Republican -- told reporters that “there is general agreement that we need to have [the debt limit] resolved sometime around the end of June.”

“They have some leeway, but not enough that I think we want to try to push it right to the edge,” Kyl, R-Ariz., said.

Asked if the lawmakers had agreed to the president’s request for bipartisan talks involving four members from each caucus, Kyl replied, “One way or another there will be talks involving Republican and Democrats in the House and Senate and the administration. As to exactly how that will be set up and so on has yet to be determined, but yes we will be talking.”

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