Huffpost Politics

John Boehner Defends Tax Cut Deal From Sarah Palin's Criticism

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Future Speaker of the House John Boehner offered a rebuttal to Sarah Palin's earlier condemnation of the $858 billion tax cut legislation on Friday. The agreement is a "worthy" deal based on the balance of power, Boehner said, and one that accomplished the primary goal of preventing an expiration of the Bush tax cuts early next year.

"There are some of our colleagues last night and others who didn't think that the agreement on the tax bill was a good one. But I've got to tell you, from where I stand, our first goal was to stop the big tax hike that was coming on January the 1st," Boehner said, responding to a question about Palin's criticism. "I've made it clear going back over the summer that stopping all of the tax hikes was one of our main priorities for this lame-duck session. And while there was an agreement, considering that, you know, Democrats control the House, the Senate and the White House, I thought on balance it was worthy of my vote, and I voted for it."

During a taped interview with Sarah Palin on ABC News's "Good Morning America" Friday, the former Alaska Governor called the package a "lousy deal" that provided only a "temporary" fix in its two-year extension of tax cuts for the wealthy. It also failed to permanently eliminate the estate cuts, she complained. Her preference, Palin explained, would have been to let the GOP-controlled House draft a tax plan after the Bush tax cuts expire next year. She said that their plan could have been formulated to be applied retroactively to the beginning of the year.

Boehner said that allowing even a temporary sunsetting of the tax cuts was a risk that both he and the American people weren't willing to take.

"All you have to do is look at the vote last night," Boehner said. "It was a strong, bipartisan vote in favor of the bill. Why? Because you saw polling all week that indicated that the American people were in favor of stopping all of the tax hikes."

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