WASHINGTON, DC – At a press conference today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) highlighted two bills the House will pass today to cut spending and protect American families and small businesses from President Obama’s fiscal cliff tax hikes.  Speaker Boehner made clear that, following passage of these bills, the onus will be on the president and Senate Democrats to take action – or take responsibility for the largest tax increase in American history.  Following are excerpts of Speaker Boehner’s remarks:

On Today’s House Votes to Cut Spending & Protect Millions of American Families & Small Businesses from the President’s Tax Hike:

“Under current law, tax rates will go up on all taxpayers beginning January 1 unless the Congress acts and the president will sign the bill.

“Today, we’ll vote to protect as many American families and small businesses as possible from the tax hikes that are already scheduled to occur.

“The president has called on the House - again and again - to pass a bill to protect 98 percent of the American people from a tax hike.  Well, today we’re going to do better than that.  Our bill would protect 99.81 percent of the American people from an increase in taxes.  It’s permanent tax relief for individuals, a permanent patch on the alternative minimum tax, the marriage penalty, death tax relief, and a permanent extension of the higher child tax credit and the capital gains and dividends rates we see today.  All in all, the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation says the bill represents a $3.9 trillion tax decrease.”

On the Need for Senate Democrats to Take Action or Take Responsibility for the Largest Tax Hike in American History:

“After today, Senate Democrats and the White House are going to have to act on this measure.

“Two years ago, 53 Democrats voted for a bill like this one.  Now they say they oppose it, but rather than tell us what they can’t do, maybe they should tell us what they can do. 

“And if Senate Democrats and the White House refuse to act, they’ll be responsible for the largest tax hike in American history.” 

On Today’s House Vote to Cut Spending & Replace the President’s Defense Sequester:

“The House today will also pass a bill to replace the sequester.  It will actually not only replace the sequester with cuts – but even further address the deficit problem that we have.  While the Democrat-controlled Senate and White House have no plan – and have offered no plan all year – to deal with these looming cuts.

“I call on Sen. Reid to make sure that we have a vote on this before the Senate adjourns.” 

On Republicans’ Effort to Resolve the Fiscal Cliff, Begin to Address the Debt, & Pave the Way for Economic Growth:

“Back in May – May, I will remind you – back in May, I sad that ‘we shouldn’t wait until New Year’s Eve’ to address the fiscal cliff.  And since then, Republicans have made every effort to avoid the situation we find ourselves in. 

“We passed a bill that would protect middle class families and small businesses from the looming tax hikes; we moved a bill in May to replace the sequester that will undermine our national security.  That same bill also has additional cuts in it which would help reduce our deficit and pave the way for long-term job growth.”

On President Obama & Washington Democrats Slow-Walking the Economy to the Edge of the Fiscal Cliff by Refusing to Put Forth a Balanced Plan:

“President Obama and Senate Democrats haven’t done much of anything.  Their Plan B is to slow-walk us over the fiscal cliff.

“And for weeks, the White House said that if I moved on rates, that they would make substantial concessions on spending cuts and entitlement reforms.

“I did my part.  They’ve done nothing. 

“The president’s last offer of $1.3 trillion in new revenues with only $850 billion worth of spending reductions fails to meet the test of balance that he continues to call for. And frankly, I’m convinced that the president is unwilling to stand up to his own party on the big issues that face our country. 

“Time is running short.  The House will act today.  And it will be up to Senate Democrats and the White House to act.”