WASHINGTON, DC – At his weekly press briefing today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) underscored the need for President Obama and Senate Democrats to address the debt crisis and replace the ‘sequester’ the president proposed, without insisting on more tax hikes that will hurt the economy and make it harder to create jobs. As Speaker Boehner noted, the House has already passed budgets that cut spending and rein in the debt and twice voted to replace the ‘sequester.’ It is now up to the president and Senate Democrats to follow suit. Here are excerpts of Speaker Boehner’s remarks:
On America’s Debt Holding Back Economic Growth & Job Creation:
“The number one priority for the American people is creating jobs and getting our spending under control.
“Even though we’re a minority party here in Washington, Republicans have made every effort to address the concerns of the American people.
“Less than two years ago, President Obama said, ‘Ultimately, all this rising debt will cost us jobs and damage our economy.’ Unfortunately, the president and Senate Democrats have done almost nothing to address our long-term debt problems.”
On the President’s Failure to Outline a Plan for Replacing the ‘Sequester’ He Proposed:
“Yesterday the president warned of grave economic consequences if the ‘sequester’ were to go into effect, but he didn’t announce any specific plans for how he would address it. He didn’t bother to actually outline how he’d replace the ‘sequester’ that he suggested and insisted upon in August of 2011. He didn’t even tell us when we might see his budget, which is again late and how he would address the ‘sequester’ in his budget.
“All of this underscores the importance of Republican efforts to push measures like ‘no budget, no pay’ and the Require a PLAN Act to force the president and Senate Democrats to take our spending problem seriously.”
On Republicans Passing Budgets that Address Our Debt & Voting to Replace the President’s ‘Sequester’ with Responsible Reforms:
“Listen, Washington desperately needs some adult leadership. That’s why Republicans have twice voted to replace the president’s ‘sequester’ with common-sense cuts and reforms that protect our national defense. That’s why Republicans have passed budgets in each of the last two years, and will pass another one here in the coming weeks.
“We believe there is a better way to lower the deficit, but Americans do not support sacrificing real spending cuts for more tax hikes. The president’s ‘sequester’ should be replaced with spending cuts and reforms that put us on a path to balance the budget over the next 10 years. …
“We passed a bill twice to replace the sequester. It is time for the President and Senate Democrats to do their job.”
On President Obama’s Call for More Tax Hikes to Fuel More Excessive Government Spending:
“Listen, the American people believe that the tax question has been settled. They know the president called for a ‘balanced’ approach to the debt – a combination of revenues and spending cuts. And they know he’s gotten his revenue.
“The American people do not believe the president will use further tax revenues to lower the debt. After having seen this president attempt to spend his way into prosperity over the last four years, they know he’ll spend it.”
On Government Spending Being the Wrong Prescription for a Struggling Economy:
“Listen, the president doesn’t believe we have a spending problem. He genuinely believes that government spending causes economic growth.
“If that were true, the economy today would be thriving. It isn’t thriving. The unemployment rate is still nearly eight percent, and rising. Small businesses, like the one I ran in Ohio, are struggling. Middle-class families – those that are lucky enough to actually have a job – are living paycheck to paycheck. And President Obama just insisted on raising their taxes.”
On Republicans Standing with the American People & Working to Cut Spending to Help the Economy Grow:
“Americans know that another tax hike isn’t going to help them. What they want is…the spending under control, so that the economy can grow and they have opportunities again.
“Democrats say we should replace the president’s ‘sequester’ with revenue increases, or delay it. Republicans say we should replace [it] with responsible reforms that will help put us on a path to balance the budget in 10 years.
“Republicans may not be the majority party here in Washington, but the American people agree with us on this. And we’re going to continue to stand with the American people.”