"The White House has to get serious," said Speaker John Boehner after the White House offered a fiscal cliff plan that raises tax rates and increases government spending. This plan protects "too big to fail" businesses and special interest tax breaks while punishing small businesses. Republicans, on the other hand, are working to protect middle class taxpayers and small businesses, and pave the way for long-term job growth.
"This is not a game," said Speaker Boehner. "Jobs are on the line. The American economy is on the line." Read the latest below:
- SOLVING THE FISCAL CLIFF: “Solving the fiscal cliff in a manner that addresses the true drivers of our debt and saves American jobs would be a great way for the president to start his second term," says Speaker Boehner. " For the good of the country, and my colleagues, we’re ready to work with the president to achieve those goals.”
- A BALANCED FRAMEWORK: But with the barrage of automatic tax hikes and defense cuts just weeks away, Speaker Boehner says Republicans are "the only ones with a balanced plan to protect the economy, protect American jobs, and protect the middle class from the fiscal cliff." Click here to watch Speaker Boehner outline this balanced framework on November 7.
- VS. A NON-SERIOUS PROPOSAL: On Fox News Sunday, Speaker Boehner said the White House offer is a "non-serious proposal" that demands more in new spending than it offers in (unspecified) spending cuts, and punishes small business owners with higher tax rates.
- "HE'S GOING TO SPEND IT": President Obama wants $1.6 trillion in new taxes -- double what he campaigned on. "If we gave the president $1.6 trillion of new money, what do you think he'd do with it?" asked Speaker Boehner. "He's going to spend it" -- not pay down the deficit.
- COULDN'T PASS CONGRESS: The president's proposal has been described in news reports as "a particularly expansive version of the White House's wish list," "loaded with Democratic priorities and short on detailed spending cuts." The Wall Street Journal says this plan "couldn't get through the House, and maybe not even the Senate." Again: it’s not a serious plan.
- CUTTING SPENDING: "In order to try to come to an agreement, Republicans are willing to put revenue on the table" from tax reform that closes tax loopholes and lowers rates, says Speaker Boehner. But "we all know that we’ve had this spending crisis coming at us like a freight train," and "it’s time for the president and Democrats to get serious about" cutting spending.
- PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESSES: "One thing Republicans won’t be party to is a deal that protects big businesses and preserves special-interest tax breaks while raising tax rates on the small businesses we’re counting on to create jobs," Speaker Boehner said after meeting with former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and the "Fix the Debt" Coalition.
- "SMALL BUSINESS AMERICA": In a new video, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy's (R-CA) office talked with a small business owner facing higher tax rates under the president's plan.
- REMINDER: In addition to the bipartisan framework outlined by Speaker Boehner, the House has passed legislation to avert the fiscal cliff. Back in August, the House passed a bipartisan bill to stop tax rate hikes on middle class families and small businesses, and voted to expedite the process of fundamental tax reform. The House also voted to replace the defense sequester and save entitlement programs like Medicare from bankruptcy. Senate Democrats have done none of this, and the president's plan is based on his budget, which received zero votes in Congress.