Republican leaders are wavering on how aggressively to pursue an overhaul of the tax code this year, just three months after the party’s top tax writer vowed to pass legislation with or without President Obama’s cooperation.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has cast doubt on the likelihood of a big GOP tax push, and when Obama called for comprehensive reform in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, key Republicans sat on their hands.

“There’s a debate going on about whether we can get to the kind of tax reform we want given the outcome of the election,” Boehner told television anchors before Obama’s address. “We’d love to do tax reform,” he said.

“Lower rates for all, clean up the code, make it simpler. But why go through all that effort if it isn’t going anywhere, or why go through that effort if the outcome would be unacceptable?”

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