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Speaker John A. Boehner on Wednesday morning maintained his position that tax rates should not be raised on high-income earners but that revenue should continue to be part of the discussion about how to avert the fiscal cliff.

The Ohio Republican told reporters at a news conference after a closed-door meeting with the GOP Conference that he is still “optimistic” that a deal can be reached. But he did not expound on the back and forth with Democrats, saying he would rather not negotiate through the press.

Nevertheless, Boehner did shoot down an idea from GOP Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, who told Politico on Tuesday that he said in a meeting of the GOP whip team that the conference should allow the top tax rates to rise so it can negotiate other matters having to do with the fiscal cliff.

“I told Tom earlier in our conference meeting that I disagreed with him,” Boehner said. “He’s a wonderful friend of mine and great supporter of mine.”

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