WASHINGTON (AP) — The top Republican in the House says a recent proposal by GOP members of a special deficit committee is a "fair offer" despite criticism from conservatives who say it breaks the party's pledge on taxes.

"It's important for us in my opinion to reform the tax code," said Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, adding that a tax overhaul would "make America more competitive and produce economic growth."

And a top GOP member of the panel got some words of support from House Republicans Tuesday morning after briefing rank-and-file Republicans on last week's GOP proposal, which called for a net tax revenue increase of almost $300 billion in exchange for significantly lowered tax rates.

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