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PolitiFact: White House blows Boehner's flip on Bush tax cuts out of proportion

The statement

"John Boehner changed his position on extending Bush tax cuts.

Robert Gibbs, Sunday in a White House news release

The ruling

House Minority Leader John Boehner made headlines recently on CBS's Face the Nation with his comments about George W. Bush-era tax cuts. Host Bob Schieffer asked the Ohio Republican about his approach to extending a series of tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of this year. President Barack Obama is seeking to renew the tax cuts for those earning below $200,000 for single earners and below $250,000 for married couples. Boehner and other Republicans have called for renewing the tax cuts for all taxpayers, regardless of income. Schieffer pressed him on whether he would be willing to vote for the more limited Democratic approach.

Boehner said, "If the only option I have is to vote for some of those tax reductions … I'll vote for them," Boehner responded. "But I've been making the point now for months that we need to extend all the current rates for all Americans if we want to get our economy going again and we want to get jobs in America."

Continuing, he said: "If the only option I have is to vote for those at ($250,000) and below, of course, I'm going to do that. But I'm going to do everything I can to fight to make sure that we extend the current tax rates for all Americans."

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said, "We welcome John Boehner's change in position and support for the middle class tax cuts, but time will tell if his actions will be anything but continued support for the failed policies that got us into this mess."

We decided to check whether Boehner's statement represented a "change in position."

Boehner's staff concedes he hasn't previously said he'd back a bill that would not extend the cuts for the wealthiest Americans. So there is some truth to the characterization of the statement as a "change in position."

But Boehner made clear that he favored extending the tax cuts for all brackets, and he has been consistent about that. Boehner was asked how he would vote under a very specific scenario and he answered. That's sounds like a lot of consistency with a bit of change thrown in. So we find Gibbs' claim Barely True.

Edited for print. For more, go to

PolitiFact: White House blows Boehner's flip on Bush tax cuts out of proportion 09/13/10 [Last modified: Monday, September 13, 2010 10:01pm]
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