WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner, emerging Friday from a White House meeting with President Barack Obama and congressional leaders, declared that higher taxes won't be part of any deal to solve the country's budget mess.
No closer to a deal to undo $85 billion in automatic spending cuts taking effect Friday, Boehner said the House will move ahead next week with legislation to keep the government running beyond March. He said he hopes the country won't have to deal with the threat of a government shutdown.
Boehner's office, in a statement describing the meeting, said he and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell told Obama they're willing to close loopholes but only to lower taxes overall, not to replace spending cuts. Obama and congressional leaders agreed that Congress should pass a bill funding the government while they keep working on a way to replace the spending cuts, Boehner's office said.
His office said Boehner told the president the best way to resolve the cuts now would be through the regular lawmaking process, rather than congressional leaders cutting a deal with Obama.