Boehner: Personal and Corporate ‘Comprehensive Tax Reform’ Under Discussion

By Matt Cover | July 7, 2011 | 1:23 PM EDT

House Speaker John Boehner (AP photo/Evan Vucci)

( - House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said on Wednesday that comprehensive tax reform was “under discussion” between Republican congressional leaders and the White House as part of their negotiations on legislation to increase the debt limit--but he added that raising taxes was not part of the discussion.

“We believe that comprehensive tax reform--both on the corporate side and the personal side--would make America more competitive, help create jobs in our country, and is something that is under discussion,” Boehner told reporters.

Moments later, however, Boehner reiterated his long-held position that the GOP would not support any tax increases.

“We are not interested in raising taxes on the American people,” Boehner said.

The speaker, who will head to the White House late Thursday for debt-limit talks with President Obama said that there was “a lot” of discussion happening, mentioning entitlement reform as one area where “changes” needed to be made.

“There’s a lot of conversation that’s under way, but let’s make it clear: We believe that the spending is the problem,” said Boehner. “We’ve got to get our spending, both the short-term and the long term, under control. We know that entitlement programs are important programs for tens of millions of Americans, but we also know that if they’re not reformed they won’t exist in the future.

“There are changes that need to be made to ensure that those programs are around for the long term.”