Boehner Abandons ‘Grand Bargain’ Talks Over Tax Hikes

House Speaker John Boehner is abandoning discussions with the White House on a large-scale debt deal slated to achieve $4 trillion in deficit reduction. The bone of contention is Boehner’s insistence on no tax increases in the deal. Instead, Boehner said the talks should focus on reaching a smaller debt-reduction deal.

“Despite good-faith efforts to find common ground, the White House will not pursue a bigger debt reduction agreement without tax hikes,” Boehner said in the statement.Boehner’s statement indicates that there is room for a much narrower spending cut bill based on work done by a group led by Vice President Joe Biden.

“I believe the best approach may be to focus on producing a smaller measure, based on the cuts identified in the Biden-led negotiations, that still meets our call for spending reforms and cuts greater than the amount of any debt limit increase,” Boehner said.

Additional reporting by Brian Beutler.