(Updates with more details)
WASHINGTON, July 22 House of Representatives
Speaker John Boehner broke off talks with President Barack
Obama on Friday and said he will begin negotiations with Senate
leaders aimed at meeting an Aug. 2 deadline to avert an
unprecedented U.S. debt default.
In a letter to congressional colleagues, Boehner, the top
U.S. Republican, said talks with the Democratic president had
become futile, citing Obama's demand to raise taxes.
"The president is emphatic that taxes have to be raised,"
Boehner wrote. "As a former small businessman, I know taxes
Boehner's surprise announcement came a day after reports he
and Obama were nearing a 10-year deal on $3 trillion in cuts
that riled the president's fellow Democrats. They complained
that it included no guarantees of additional tax revenues and
would likely force benefits cuts in popular entitlement
programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
Just a month ago, Boehner's deputy, House Republican leader
Eric Cantor, walked out of deficit-reduction negotiations with
Vice President Joe Biden, complaining that the administration
was insisting on tax hikes despite Republican objections.
(Reporting by Andy Sullivan, Thomas Ferraro, Richard Cowan
and Donna Smith; editing by Doina Chiacu)