WASHINGTON — A spokesman for Speaker of the House John Boehner is denying a reported White House claim that he asked President Barack Obama for a permanent extension of lower tax rates on the top two tax brackets in fiscal cliff negotiations.
Boehner replied to a White House offer on the fiscal cliff Monday with a counteroffer of is own on Tuesday, and spokesman Brendan Buck says it included a call for comprehensive tax reform, and not a permanent extension of tax cuts for the wealthy, as a White House official told ABC News’ Jake Tapper.
“No, that’s deliberately misleading [White House] spin,” Buck told BuzzFeed in response to Tapper’s tweet.” Our goal, as Boehner has made clear repeatedly and publicly, is a framework for comprehensive tax reform.”
Buck added that asking for the permanent lower rates would be “moot” anyway, given Boehner’s call for broader reform.
The back-and-forth is just the latest leak in a month-long negotiation, as both sides jockey for public positioning on the trillions in spending and taxing decisions due by the end of the year.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday that the administration would not be negotiating through the media, because it lessens the likelihood of a deal.
“These things are possible, but they’re less possible if we try to negotiate them on an hourly or daily basis in the media,” he told reporters.
A White House spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tapper’s report.