By Joel B. Pollak, Breitbart
House Budget Committee chair Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has rejected President Barack Obama's demand to raise taxes as part of Obama's proposal to achieve $1.6 trillion in additional tax revenues to avoid the "fiscal cliff."
Instead, Ryan backed Speaker John Boehner's position, which is that any new tax revenues must be achieved without passing higher tax rates.
In an exclusive statement to Breitbart News, Ryan specified that new revenues should come through economic growth and tax reform, not tax hikes:
Speaker Boehner has outlined a bipartisan way forward to avoid the "fiscal cliff" and get our economy growing: common-sense entitlement reform coupled with pro-growth tax reform. We can find common ground on responsible spending restraint and greater revenue through economic growth, but we have yet to see either a serious plan or leadership from President Obama. Speaker Boehner and House Republicans have delivered both.
Earlier today, President Obama signaled an openness to tax reform, but said that "closing loopholes in deductions" would not cover the cost of extending the current tax rates for the top two percent of earners.
Obama reiterated that he interpreted last week's election results as a mandate to raise taxes as a means to balance the federal budget. Ryan told ABC News yesterday that the electorate had not voted for higher taxes, since Republicans had retained control of the House of Representatives after opposing tax hikes.
Ryan's support for Boehner signals growing unity among House Republicans behind the Speaker's refusal to consider new taxes. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also made a firm commitment to prevent tax hikes in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News last week. Bipartisan talks on the "fiscal cliff' begin Friday.