Corker, Boehner take different tones on chance of grand bargain
March 17th, 2013
02:22 PM ET
2 years ago

Corker, Boehner take different tones on chance of grand bargain

(CNN) – Sen. Bob Corker on Sunday joined a few other Senate Republicans who say they're open to raising revenues as part of a deal on deficit reduction, adding there is a chance such an agreement could work.

House Speaker John Boehner, meanwhile, continued to maintain that increased tax revenue would not be part of the deficit reduction picture and sounded less hopeful on the idea of a "grand bargain."

Corker said he could only see Republicans compromising on tax revenue if Democrats agree to big changes in entitlement programs, like Social Security and Medicare.

"I think Republicans, if they saw true entitlement reform, would be glad to look at tax reform that generates additional revenue. And that doesn't mean increasing rates. That means closing loopholes," the Tennessee Republican said on "Fox News Sunday."

As Washington grappled with how to lessen the impact of the forced spending cuts that went into place March 1, Republicans staunchly opposed the idea of bringing in more revenue, saying the real problem was on the spending side of the equation.

Some Republicans in the Senate, including Sen. Lindsey Graham, said they would be open to the idea of closing certain loopholes if it helped lessen the impact of the cuts on the military.

Both parties released their budgets last week. The House Republican budget reduces the deficit by $4.6 trillion over the next 10 years through spending reductions, while the Senate Democrats' budget proposes a $1.8 trillion deficit-reduction package, which includes a mix of spending cuts and tax increases.

Corker said Republicans want to see tax reform and a "75-year solution to entitlements." But, he argued, it all depends on how much Democrats are willing to shake up entitlement spending.

The senator is one of several Republicans who have been in touch with President Barack Obama during his recent outreach to Republicans. Obama visited Republicans on Capitol Hill last week and dined with 12 Republican senators, including Corker, the week before in order to discuss deficit reduction.

"I think, there, by the way, is a chance on a deal," Corker said. "I know the president is saying the right things, and we have an opportunity over the next four to five months."

Obama has said he's willing to propose changes on entitlements. But getting Democrats in Congress to agree with him may be an uphill battle.

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin, however, said on Fox he believes Corker stated "a basic set of principles that both parties can rally around" and acknowledged that entitlement reform should be on the table.

"But there are ways to approach it - to reduce the cost of medical care, and still keep our promise to seniors across America," he said.

While Corker appeared open to tax increases down the road, Boehner said the conversation about tax revenue is finished. He said he was unsure whether a grand bargain could ever be reached.

"I don't know whether we can come to a big agreement. If we do, it'll be between the two parties on Capitol Hill," he said on ABC's "This Week." "The president got his tax hikes on January 1. The talk about raising revenue is over. It's time to deal with the spending problem."

He was referring to the tax rate increase for top earners that was included in the deal to avoid the fiscal cliff earlier this year.

Boehner has appeared somewhat skeptical of the president's recent "charm offensive" to Republican lawmakers in Congress and hasn't been shy in acknowledging the stark differences between the two parties. He said Sunday that while "it's always a good thing to engage in more conversation," the bottom line is the president favors "more taxes from the American people."

"We're not going to get very far," he said.
Asked if he trusts the president, Boehner said, "Absolutely."

"Oh, the president and I, as I have made very clear, have a very good relationship. We're open with each other, we're honest with each other, but we're trying to bridge some big differences," he said.


Filed under: Bob Corker • Debt • Deficit • John Boehner • President Obama
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    There is no justification, whatsoever for more revenue. It will simply be squandered by Obama, just like all of the money he has already squandered.

    March 17, 2013 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  2. Thomas

    House Speaker John Boehner, meanwhile, continued his golf game , stopped for a smoke and a little nip on the 7th hole.

    What a great day.

    March 17, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  3. Name lynn

    coker an boehner the devil vs cobra an get it together, the republicans cant agree with president obama an now the budget cuts an boehner you stays in the media an the news cast you two old bizzard.

    March 17, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  4. pat tucker

    back in 1980 i remenber that i use to be able to pay out on ss by april or may and did not have to pay the rest of the year. I dont remenber when that changed but i have been paying in since 1973 or so. I just retired out of my job i can draw my penison but i am only 57 i worked construction for 35 years and my body is broke down. I here them talk entitlements and it makes me sick i think about all of years i worked in zero weather ,rain,mud,. I always thought this would be there but i guess if you had not robbed it to fund to wars and put in ious the program had plenty of money.as far as medicare/caid why doesnt the goverment build thier own hosipals and staff and drive these other ones out of business and then tell the drug companys to pay attention because thier next.With the money you say we spend and stealing from the fund that takes place this all should be no trouble at all .Leave are money alone and pay us back our ious you owe us.cut yours.

    March 17, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. lottie

    the republican party can not agree within its own party. They are totally out of touch and need to stop screwing the American people.

    March 17, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  6. Xausted

    Another great picture of the nations tear duct.

    March 17, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  7. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Well,
    I say, get those spending cuts this decade and raise those taxes 10 years from now. Let's see if the Liberal's are serious. Tax Cuts first !!

    March 17, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  8. Anthony

    Republicans are open to the idea of raising revenue to balance the budget. They may insist that more revenue is off the table, but their actions say otherwise. For example, Ryan has proposed a budget that will repeal Obamacare but keep the revenue from Obamacare, which he will use to balance the budget. Ryan wants the revenue but not the medical care part of Obamacare. What is Obamacare without the medical care part? A tax hike.

    March 17, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. Sam

    U demorates remind me of a teenager spend all ure money then u wonder where it went if we let obama kept raising the taxes they will out just like the companies and obama losing battles in the white house if mario rubio beats the other republions the democraps r in serious trouble

    March 17, 2013 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. Jinx9to88

    @ Sam – if u think Rubio can win in 2016 you need to pass some of the stuff your smoking. The only person in the Repub party that can get independent votes is Christie. Independent votes wins election not your way right conservative votes. Obama wants to close loopholes as a source of revenues, so unless you have yacht or plane that you right off each year I guess your not even on the conversation. Typical Repubs has know clue, but like to open their mouth like they do.

    March 17, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  11. James Ruston

    I wonder which rich donors are putting up the money to bring poor people into the fold. I hope they succeed, because most of them will vote Democratic anyway.

    March 17, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  12. historyspeaks

    The only thing that matters to Republicans is spending money on the military, period. Any program that helps out the average working person in America, and by average I mean those with incomes at, or below the median national income, is considered an entitlement and must be eliminated, according to Republicans.
    Sending billions to nations like Egypt, Libya, Israel, Iraq and Afghanistan however, that's considered necessary to these chickenhawks.

    March 17, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  13. Martha in CF

    To Sam-I think you got the Democrats spent all the money wrong. Remember, Bush got us into 2 wars-NOT PAID FOR; also drugs for seniors-not paid for. I think their is enough blames for both parties to go around. But please remember, the rich are getting richer, the middle class and the poor are getting poorer. It is time to get some funds back from the rich to help out our country.....Also, bring back those jobs sent overseas and get our people back to work.......

    March 17, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  14. tammyk tammy

    My messaging plan is simple, effective, and inexpensive. I plan to have a T-shirt printed up in big block letters saying I AM NOT! WITH STUPID. ASK ME WHY I WILL BE VOTING DEMOCRATIC THIS ELECTION YEAR. I figure it will only cost about $35. Then I can wear it everywhere I go – to the grocery store, the library, the mall, the movie theater, the community pool, the local park, out walking for exercise, and of course, out knocking door to door on behalf of Democratic candidates. Yep, it ought to be a real conversation starter. Cheap and best of all RENEWABLE. Just run it through the washer and dryer so it will be good to use for the next elections. Who need 10 million to get your message out there!

    March 17, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  15. tammyk tammy

    ......an even better thought is to use the old plain T-shirts I already have and just buy some craft glue and glitter so I can make my own. Even cheaper and more variety of messages to counteract the 10 million dollar remessaging pile of G.O.Pig manure that will be stinking up the neighborhood.

    March 17, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  16. Bruce Rubin

    It will still be a pig with lipstick

    March 17, 2013 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  17. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    I guess the gop is going to have to lose the house to learn their lesson ,to bad ,but better for our country !!!!!

    March 17, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  18. revamadison

    "When the president is serious will be when he begins using the podium to explain to the American people that the average American family is only paying one-third of the cost of Medicare,"

    That was one statement the Bonehead made, and appears in other articles. These guys do not seem to understand exactly what Medicare is. It is an INSURANCE policy, which is paid for by each worker in America, right out of his earnings, throughout his entire work life. Not only that, but it is a policy that one cannot normally draw on, until late in life. What other private insurance requires that? Even after retirement, one pays into it, right up until the end of life itself. QUIT TALKING ENTITLEMENT like one is not entitled to what he or she has paid for.

    March 17, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  19. Barbra K

    Uh,oh...lookout everyone....looks like the tears are going to start to flow. Someone disagreed with him. All I can say is CRY!

    March 17, 2013 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  20. Chipster

    There is no justification for continuing to allow the wealthiest people in our nation to avoid paying taxes by using offshore tax shelters, especially when we need that revenue to reduce the deficit. What is so bad about asking those who earn the most to pay the same tax rate as the middle class? Close the loopholes and stop allowing offshore tax shelters! Those at the top pay more tax dollars because they earn more but they pay a smaller percentage of their income than those earning far less. We need to cut spending and increase revenue! But the GOP doesn't want to cut spending on unnecessary things like WH tours, air show participation, etc..... no, they want to crush the poor, veterans, and Social Security for retirees who PAID for their benefits. That's is unacceptable.

    March 17, 2013 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  21. Rick

    Companies like Bank of America and Verizon pay zero dollars in taxes because of those tax loop-holes that the democrats are talking about, but plan and simple if everyone paid their fair share we would not have this deficit, we would not have to cut programs, we would not of had the sequester in the first place. It would be just like when Bill Clinton, a democrat, was president.

    March 17, 2013 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  22. George

    Obama is big on words, and you people swallow everything he can feed you. At the end, someone has to pay the bills and it will be you who still work to pay for those who do not. Economy has not moved forward, unemployment is all time high, so is the debt Mr. Obama is racking up faster then any other president in history.
    I like his "Balanced" approach to debt reduction. So far he has not made any cuts he promised, being the only president who thinks that spending more will save us money. You do not have to be republican to see the disaster coming!

    March 17, 2013 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  23. LRP

    Stand Your Ground Boehner...don't cave in!

    March 17, 2013 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  24. Calvin

    Republicans don't need to spend 10 mil. All they need to do is embrace this phrase: "Stop the Hate!"

    March 17, 2013 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  25. giftazia

    This just goes to show how clueless the Republican party is about what the American people want. They could spend a hundred million on getting their archaic, tired old message out, but it's still an archaic, tired old message. In the words of one of their own, "you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig."

    March 17, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
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