This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," July 26, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Speaker of the House John Boehner, the fight over extending the Bush-era tax cuts getting down and dirty. But is it getting anywhere? Yesterday, the Democratically controlled Senate passed a bill renewing the tax cuts, but only for people earning less than $250,000 a year. For everyone else, tax rates will go up on January 1st. So now it is the Republican-led House's move.
We spoke with Speaker Boehner earlier today.
VAN SUSTEREN: Mr. Speaker, nice to see you, sir.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Greta, good to be with you.
VAN SUSTEREN: OK, Senate voted yesterday. So what is your plan here in the House?
BOEHNER: Well, the House next week will vote to stop the looming tax hike scheduled to take effect on January the 1st. The president's plan would cost about 700,000 new jobs that wouldn't be created or could be lost by taxing small businesses.
The House will not do that. The House will extend all of the existing tax rates. We've got 8 percent unemployment. We've got 41 months of it. This is not the time -- the time to be raising taxes on American small businesses.
VAN SUSTEREN: Will there be any deals made down the road, like, people who make more than $5 million or something, I mean, the big numbers, the bigger numbers than a million, at some point in order to get a deal?
VAN SUSTEREN: Or is this no? Or is this an absolutely no tax hike as to anybody?
BOEHNER: This is not the time to be raising taxes on small business owners. So we are not going to do it.
VAN SUSTEREN: That means nobody, no way, never, ever...
BOEHNER: We are going to pass our bill next week. The Senate passed what I'll call an unconstitutional bill. All tax bills have to start in the House. And we would hope they would take up the House-passed bill.
VAN SUSTEREN: You say they hope they'll take it up, but you're going to pass your bill next week. You have the numbers. That's clear. It's then goes over to the Senate. You don't expect the Senate to adopt your bill, do you?
BOEHNER: Wouldn't look that way, but hope springs eternal.
VAN SUSTEREN: OK. So then where does that leave the American taxpayer? You're sort of at loggerheads with two different bills, very different bills.
BOEHNER: As the president would remind me from to time, that's what elections are for. But American taxpayers shouldn't have to wait until after the election to know what the tax rates are going to be for next year. In addition to that, the Alternative Minimum Tax for 2012 has not been extended.
And so instead of having the four million Americans affected by the Alternative Minimum Tax in January, it'll be 30 million Americans. And you want to see a real tax increase, this is about a $4 trillion tax increase if we don't come to an agreement on this bill.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, that leaves everybody sort of sputtering, trying to decide what to do because it's not going to happen either until the lame duck session or sometime into January.
You know, everyone -- so we're all on hold. Is there any way -- let me give you a suggestion. How about calling up Senator Harry Reid and President Obama and say, We got -- we got this August recess, everybody. Let's try to do something now so this prediction for the small business people, and every American...
BOEHNER: We've been making this case all year that we ought to extend all of the current tax rates. It's an issue in the presidential campaign. There's no reason to wait. I'm ready, willing and able to sit down with the president or Harry Reid tomorrow and to resolve this issue for the American people.
VAN SUSTEREN: So if they would agree to give up August and to sit down here and everyone put his nose to the grindstone...
BOEHNER: Well, I...
VAN SUSTEREN: ... you're game?
BOEHNER: I'd be happy to do it.
VAN SUSTEREN: So what's the problem? I mean, like, you know, why can't this -- I mean, get this resolved...
BOEHNER: Greta, Greta...
VAN SUSTEREN: ... because we sit and watch.
BOEHNER: Greta, the founders gave us this system of government. It may not be perfect, but it really does work better than anyplace else in the world. And the American people gave us divided government. You know, Republicans control the House. Democrats control the Senate. Democrats control the White House. And so we've got a recipe here for being at loggerheads.
But I think it's our job -- even though we may have some very strong opinions, and opposite opinions, our job is still to find common ground and to do our best for the American people. But you can't -- you can't do the tango by yourself. You've got to have a willing partner, and I've not had a willing partner.
VAN SUSTEREN: OK, well, it -- a couple things. One is that, you know, leadership, you know, the three leaders, the House, the Senate and the White House -- they have a tough job -- I realize the loggerheads, I realize the divided government. But that still is sort of what leaders need to do. That's the first thing.
The second thing is that we know it can be done because every time you all get pushed up against a deadline, that suddenly, burning the midnight oil, there's some deal cut, something happens. We just don't have that deadline right now. And so the business people and the American people sort of sit on the sidelines month after month after month, hoping for some guidance.
BOEHNER: That's why I don't want to wait. We don't need to be up against a deadline in order to act. But if I can't get Harry Reid to sit down and negotiate, or the president to sit down and negotiate, I'm not going to sit here and negotiate with myself.
VAN SUSTEREN: The bill in the Senate essentially adds about -- it's enough to finance the government for eight days, approximately, the -- letting the tax rate go back to where it was for people who make over $250,000 a year.
Any thoughts on how we're going to fund the other 357 dollars -- 357 days out of the year? Because that's only eight days.
BOEHNER: Well, listen, this is why we need to extend all the current tax rates because you're just kidding yourself. The American people don't need to be paying higher taxes at a time when our economy is not doing well.