"They're hard at work," Boehner said of the committee's members. "They're not there yet. But I'm going to do everything I can to continue to encourage them and to help them reach a successful outcome.
"If it was easy, the president and I could have solved it. If it was easy, Congresses over the last two decades would have solved it," he said. "It's hard. But it has to work. And I am committed to ensuring that it works."
He said, however, that he is not sure that they will be able to get back to the agreement he and the president almost reached, which would have raised some $800 billion in new revenues.
"I think it's hard to put Humpty Dumpty back together again," Boehner said.
Boehner said that he remains open to creating more revenues through restructuring the tax code, as long as spending cuts are part of the equation.
"I believe that we can create revenue out of fixing our tax code and bring that revenue to the table, as long as our colleagues on the other side of the aisle are serious about cutting spending," Boehner said. "And I have tried all year, with every fiber of my being, to try to get members on both sides of the aisle, try to get the president to get serious about dealing with our debt problem."
Boehner called for restructuring both corporate and personal taxes, targeting a top rate of 25 percent, to "make our economy more competitive with the rest of the world."
"It would put Americans back to work. We'd have a broader base on the tax rules," Boehner said. "And out of that, there would be real economic growth and more revenues for the federal government."
"We have to get our economy moving again," Boehner said. "And until we get our economy moving again and we start producing more jobs, we're going to have all kinds of uncertainty, concern and, frankly, fear about the future."