'This Week' Transcript: Speaker John Boehner

BOEHNER: Well, we've already seen some common ground. We passed the free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. It's part of our plan, part of the president's plan. As a matter of fact, it's all part of our plan for American job-creators.

And we've passed 22 bills, all with bipartisan support, that would help reduce barriers to -- to job growth. They all remain in the United States Senate. You're going to see the House move, I think, before the end of the year on an infrastructure bill.

AMANPOUR: Now, you obviously disagree with the idea of paying for this with extra taxes. Some 75 percent of Americans agree with an increase in tax on millionaires as a way to pay for these jobs provisions. Do you not feel that by opposing it you're basically out of step with the American people on this issue?

BOEHNER: Well, over half of the people who would be taxed under this plan are, in fact, small-business people. And as a result, you're going to basically increase taxes on the very people that we're hoping will reinvest in our economy and create jobs. That's the real crux of the problem.

And, secondly, I would point out this: We have a spending problem. We've done all this stimulus spending the last couple of years, and clearly it has not worked.

AMANPOUR: You said that there is more room for revenues. What do you mean by that?

BOEHNER: I believe that if we restructure our tax code where the -- on the corporate side and the personal side, the target would be a top rate of 25 percent, it would make our economy more competitive with the rest of the world, it would put Americans back to work, we'd have broader base on the tax rules, and out of that, there would be real economic growth and more revenues for the federal government.

AMANPOUR: Do you agree at all that there should be any kind of tax increases?

BOEHNER: 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. 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. Nobody more upset that we couldn't come to an agreement, the president and I, than I was.

AMANPOUR: A year now into the new Congress. What is your biggest regret then?

BOEHNER: I really thought the president and I could come to an agreement. And I thought that, for the good of the country, he and I could have solved this problem, we could have passed a significant bill to reduce our long-term obligations.

Listen, we've made promises to ourselves that our kids and grandkids cannot afford. And we have to deal with it. So we -- we -- we have the deficit committee, the so-called super-committee. They're hard at work. And I've got to tell you, these members, all 12 of them, Democrats and Republicans from both the House and the Senate, they have worked diligently, they have put in incredible numbers of hours. 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.

AMANPOUR: Well, I was going to ask you, because there was so much hope put into their efforts, and yet they do seem to be stuck at an impasse. We know that they're meant to be trying to come up with $1.2 trillion in deficit cuts.

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