Boehner defends tax deal, responds to Palin
December 17th, 2010
01:34 PM ET
12 years ago

Boehner defends tax deal, responds to Palin

Washington (CNN) - After potential 2012 GOP presidential candidate Sarah Palin called the tax cut deal President Obama negotiated with Senate Republicans a "lousy deal," incoming House Speaker John Boehner brushed off the criticism and defended his vote in favor of the bill that President Obama is signing into law Friday.

Asked about Palin's comments, Boehner said "our first goal was to stop the tax hike that was coming on January 1st."

The GOP Leader acknowledged that some conservative Republicans "didn't think the agreement on the tax bill was a good one." But he argued, "while there was an agreement considering that the 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."

Boehner emphasized the bill ultimately passed with a strong bipartisan vote. He pointed to public opinion polls showing support for the bill, noting, "you saw polling all week that indicated that the American people were in favor of stopping all the tax hikes."

Although Boehner cast his vote for the bill just before midnight Thursday, he didn't go to the floor to make a speech urging his colleagues to support it. Asked why he didn't speak during the floor debate, Boehner told reporters "I didn't think I needed to get in the way." Thirty six House Republicans, including third ranking House Republican Mike Pence, Indiana, voted against it. The number two House Republican, Eric Cantor of Virginia, did make a floor speech in favor of the bill, saying the bill was "not perfect" but should pass to avoid tax increases.

Asked if the tax cut deal could be a model for future bipartisan compromises with President Obama, Boehner said, "No one can predict what the next month or he next year will look like, other than I've told the President the same thing I've told him over the last two years - I'll always be upfront with him, honest with him and fair. But I've also told the President, the American people have spoken, it's time for Washington to listen."

Although he was invited, the incoming Speaker will not be attending the bill signing at the White House on Friday afternoon. His spokesman declined to comment on why he decided against going. But since the bill ultimately needed Senate Republican votes to pass, Boehner let Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell take the lead negotiating the details and McConnell is expected to attend the bill signing.

Filed under: John Boehner • Sarah Palin • Taxes
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. yvette

    this repub is useless. cried about everything and now won't be a the signing of the bill. got what they wanted for the rich but the majority leader for repubs won't even attend. just go back to doing what you are good at and that's crying. the unemployed can show you what it feels like to cry for real.

    December 17, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. Rock God

    What does Palin know about governing? She's a QUITTER!

    December 17, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. Gavin

    Why didn't Boehner go to the bill signing? Because any Republican caught in a photo op with Obama is the kiss of death. Heck, Obama should try to get in a photo with all of the Republicans, that would really shake things up.

    December 17, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. Sarah Palin

    Isn't it interesting that the GOP leaders fight & vote for this huge $800b unfunded bill but don't want to show up for the signing. They will now start complaining about deficits and think that they will get away with it. The Dems were dumb. They should have made EVERY Republican in the House & Senate vote for this bill and offered up just emough Democrat support to pass it.

    December 17, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  5. handofdoom

    "lousy deal" for Citizens is right !

    December 17, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  6. Tony Z

    Show some respect. You should have attended. That is the meaning of Bi-Partisan.

    December 17, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  7. usualone

    Boehner is in office and has more experience than Palin ever will have. I'm glad he brushed off her criticism. This deal wasn't easy for either party but somehow both parties thought of the American public and its immediate needs. Taxes need to be refined and more fairly distributed but under the current economic conditions, it was the correct thing to do.

    December 17, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. maine liberal

    Boehner said "our first goal was to stop the tax hike that was coming on January 1st."

    "the tax hike that was coming" 39.6 percent bracket on income above 250k a 4 percent increase 40 dollars per thousand
    estate tax savings for junior who just waits for daddys death 6600 ppl and 23 billion dollars and the man of orange did not want to extend unemployment to millions

    John Boehner meet chicken crap .. weep weep sob

    December 17, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
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