But Boehner canceled the vote after failing to round up enough support from his party because many conservative Republicans are opposed to tax hikes on even the richest wage-earning Americans.
"The House did not take up the tax measure today because it did not have sufficient support from our members to pass," Boehner said in a statement after huddling with other Republican leaders.
The White House pledged to work with Congress to reach a deal as quickly as possible.
"We are hopeful that we will be able to find a bipartisan solution quickly that protects the middle class and our economy," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement.
The bill, had it passed, would have put Republicans on record as supporting a tax increase on those who earn more than $1 million per year, breaking with decades of orthodoxy. It won the blessing of influential anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, but other conservative groups fiercely opposed it and many rank-and-file members said they would not support it.
Obama wants to raise taxes on families earning more than $400,000, a much lower threshold.