Boehner: We Can Find a Path Forward on Bipartisan Measures to Fund Government, Extend the Payroll Tax Break & Help Create Jobs
In his weekly press conference today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) discussed a path forward on a bicameral, bipartisan agreement to fund the government, and on a separate measure – the House-passed Middle Class Tax Relief & Job Creation Act - that extends the payroll tax break and includes several jobs proposals supported by Democrats and Republicans alike. Following are video and text of Speaker Boehner’s remarks:
BOEHNER: “WE CAN EXTEND PAYROLL TAX RELIEF FOR AMERICAN WORKERS, HELP CREATE NEW JOBS, AND KEEP THE GOVERNMENT RUNNING…IN A BIPARTISAN WAY”:
“Look, I’ve been here for a while. This is not the first time I’ve seen year-end work get knotted up. But I think everyone just needs to step back and take a deep breath. I think there’s an easy way to untangle all of this. We just need to let the members do their jobs – and we need to let the two institutions to their work.
“First, I think Democrats should join Republicans and sign the conference report to fund our government. House and Senate appropriators have done their job. There’s an agreement on a bill that would keep the government open. They’ve worked out all the details and shook hands – the bill is done. It’s bipartisan, it’s bicameral. Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate are both ready to vote on this. We just need the President and Senate leaders to [let us] do our work. And frankly it’s the right thing to do.
“Similarly, I think there’s an easy way to resolve our issues on the payroll tax cut bill. The Senate should proceed with an open process, allow amendments, and work its will on the House-passed bill. If Senators have their voices heard in an open way, I think it would help us get to a resolution much more quickly.
“No more show votes. I think it’s just time to legislate. And I think America needs to see us earning our paychecks. This is the way this institution has worked for more than 200 years. I think it’s the right way to resolve our differences and get something done to help create jobs for the American people. And I think we need to use it. We can extend payroll tax relief for American workers, help create new jobs, and keep the government running. And, frankly, we can do it in a bipartisan way.”
BOEHNER: “JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING IN THE HOUSE-PASSED” MIDDLE CLASS TAX RELIEF & JOB CREATION ACT “HAS BIPARTISAN SUPPORT”:
“You know, this week the House passed a bipartisan bill to extend the payroll tax relief and to help create new jobs in our country. Does the bill have everything that Republicans want in it? Certainly not. Democrats didn’t get everything they wanted either. But that’s how divided government works.
“At the same time, just about everything in the House-passed bill has bipartisan support. The payroll tax break and unemployment insurance? Both bipartisan. Ensuring that seniors still have access to their doctors with the…doc fix in the bill is a bipartisan solution. A common-sense measure to halt job-destroying boiler regulations? Members of both political parties support it. Our bill is fully paid for – a bipartisan idea. And even the offsets - you know, 90% of the offsets are based on ideas from the president.
“So for example, there’s a provision in the bill that eliminates taxpayer-funded benefits for millionaires and billionaires. Again, a bipartisan idea that’s in this bill. There’s a provision that allows businesses, small and large, to expense new equipment and other capital purchases. This was in the president’s jobs plan. The provision speeding up [the] Keystone pipeline project will help create thousands of new jobs in our struggling economy, it’s supported by the Assistant Democratic Leader, Jim Clyburn. There are even unemployment insurance reforms in this bill, some of which have been supported by the president in the past.
“So, there’s no need to shut down the government, and I see that Senator Reid has already signaled that they may not do that after all.”