7/31 @ 11:30 AM ET | Speaker Boehner Press Conference - WATCH LIVE HERE

WASHINGTON, DC – At a press conference today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) highlighted the action Republicans are taking - in keeping with their Pledge to America - to advance a pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda, cut spending and change the way Washington works.  Speaker Boehner faulted President Obama and Senate Democrats for failing to lead by blocking House-passed jobs bills and offering no plan to replace the president’s sequester that threatens our security and stop the tax hikes that threaten our economy.  Following are Speaker Boehner’s remarks:

ON SENATE DEMOCRATS BLOCKING NEARLY 40 BIPARTISAN, HOUSE-PASSED JOBS BILLS:

“You know there are nearly 40 of our jobs bills sitting over in the United States Senate, all part of our plan for American job creators that we’ve been working on all year. 

“These bills will cut red tape, remove government barriers that make it harder for small businesses to hire new workers.  There are bills over there that address our debt, expand American energy production, and approve projects like the Keystone pipeline.  There are bills over there to stop the president’s tax hikes and fix the tax code to bring more jobs home from overseas.”

ON DEMOCRATS’ FAILURE TO LEAD:

“These are good ideas, all passed with bipartisan support here in the House, but President Obama won’t work with us to find common ground or urge Senate Democrats to take action.  Why? Because Democrats have failed to lead.

“They’ve failed to lead on jobs – the unemployment rate has been over eight percent for 43 consecutive months.  They’ve failed to lead on energy, so everything from gasoline prices to groceries all cost more today.  And the president’s defense sequester threatens our national security. And his tax hikes threaten some 700,000 jobs in our country. ”

ON REPUBLICANS FOCUSING ON JOBS & KEEPING OUR PLEDGE TO AMERICA:

“And while Democrats have failed to lead, Republicans have focused on jobs and keeping our Pledge to America that we made nearly two years ago.

“You see, in my opinion, the American people want government out of the way.  They want spending reduced; they want less regulation on small businesses; they want a strong national defense; and they want more American energy production.  That’s the people’s agenda.  It’s a pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda. And it has been our governing agenda.

“We promised to focus [on] solutions for jobs and the economy, to reform Congress, and to cut spending. And we’ve kept our pledge.  But this isn’t a time for self-congratulation.”

ON DEMOCRATS HAVING NO PLAN TO ADDRESS THE FISCAL CLIFF THAT THREATENS OUR SECURITY & OUR ECONOMY:

“It’s not just our jobs bills that the Democrats are ignoring. Their failure to lead is a lot worse than that.

“They haven’t passed a budget in more than three years.  They have no plan to save Medicare, no plan to stop all the tax hikes, and no plan to replace the sequester.

“They’ve actually threatened to do nothing and drive us off the ‘fiscal cliff’ – which the Congressional Budget Office has said will lead to a ‘very deep recession.’  This isn’t leadership. It’s negligence.”

ON THE POSSIBILITY OF CHANGING WASHINGTON WITH COURAGE AND LEADERSHIP:

“President Obama’s latest excuse is, ‘well you can't change Washington from the inside.’  Well you actually can change Washington from the inside.  It takes courage, it takes determination, and it takes sincerity. And it’s called leadership.

“You know, I’ve been here for 22 years.  I’ve been involved in changing a lot of things in this town.  From my days as a member of the gang of seven, closing the House bank, trying to get Congress to run more efficiently and more professionally.  And how about the issue of earmarks that nobody thought we could ever get rid of.  I spent five years working to eliminate earmarks and over the last couple of years we’ve had no earmarks. 

“So, you can’t tell me that you can’t fix Washington from the inside.  I have this belief, and I frankly believe it’s troubling that the president doesn’t share my optimism about fixing this town.”