WASHINGTON, DC – At his weekly press briefing today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) highlighted a newly released statement from 180 economists who agree that sky-high deficits, driven up by excessive government spending, are hurting the economy. Speaker Boehner also previewed the House Republican budget that will be offered next week to address the spending problem and balance the budget over the next 10 years, and urged the president and Senate Democrats to offer their own plan that does the same. Following are excerpts of Speaker Boehner’s remarks:
On the Newly-Released List of Economists Who Agree that Spending Is the Problem:
“Unfortunately, the president and Senate Democrats have yet to recognize that we’ve got a spending problem. Yesterday, I released a list of 170 economists who’ve agreed that spending is the problem. And frankly, over the last 24 hours, 10 more economists have signed on to this letter.
“We’ve got to start digging our children out from this mountain of debt, not continuing to add to it.”
On House Republicans Offering a Balanced Budget that Will Help Promote Economic Growth & Job Creation:
“That’s why next week, under Chairman Paul Ryan’s leadership, Republicans will begin to advance a balanced budget that would promote economic growth & create American jobs. Our plan would cut wasteful spending, fix our broken tax code to create more jobs and increase wages, and protect and strengthen important priorities like Medicare.
“Every family ought to balance its budget. Washington should balance its budget as well.”
On the Need for Democrats to Offer Their Own Plan that Balances the Budget:
“You know, Democrats talk an awful lot about ‘balance,’ so here’s my question to them: where is their plan to balance the budget?
“There’s nothing about a…balanced budget that doesn’t actually ever get to balance. And I think the American people support our efforts to balance the budget over the next 10 years. And I would challenge President Obama and Senate Democrats to embrace this common-sense reform and offer their own plan to balance our budget.”
On Urging Senate Democrats to Follow the House’s Lead & Pass a Clean Bill to Fund the Government:
“Yesterday, the House passed legislation to keep the government funded for the rest of the fiscal year. It’s a straightforward bill that includes a bipartisan agreement between the House and Senate on improving military readiness. Everyone has something they would like to add to this bill, but the House is not using this as a vehicle to advance other agendas. And I would hope the Senate, too, would avoid doing so - and either pass our bill or only make straightforward changes.
“If Senate Democrats try to load up this bill with extraneous provisions - partisan riders, budget gimmicks - we will be prepared to move a clean continuing resolution through the end of the fiscal year. I don’t want to do that. I don’t think that would help our troops. So I would urge Democrat Leaders in the Senate to not get greedy and get carried away and try to put forward a possibility of a government shutdown. Our goal here is to cut spending, not to shut down the government.”
On The Need to Replace the President’s Sequester with Smarter Spending Cuts:
“The CR also left in place the president’s sequester. And as I’ve made clear many times, sequestration will remain in effect until cuts and reforms are put in place that put us on a path to balance the budget over the next 10 years. There are smarter ways to cut spending, and that’s why the House has acted twice over the last year to replace the sequester.”