Boehner: House Democrats’ Rhetoric on Innovation Equals More Government Spending & Higher Taxes on Working Families |

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) today questioned the commitment of House Democrats to strengthening American innovation and competitiveness at home and abroad.  At a media event, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other House Democrats joined Hollywood filmmaker George Lucas to promote an “Innovation Agenda”  that is nothing more than a laundry list of federal government-driven programs which represent the same old recipe for federal micromanagement of the economy – more spending, higher taxes, and “targeted” relief to favored political constituencies.

“Why is it not surprising that for House Democrats, innovation starts inside the Washington Beltway with more government spending and higher taxes?” said Boehner.  “Even Hollywood’s best filmmakers can’t make these ‘innovation’ proposals look like anything other than a recycled package of more government bureaucracy followed by higher taxes on working families.” 

“In spite of months of claiming that their bold agenda of new ideas is just around the corner, House Democrats continue to disappoint.  Like a broken record, it’s more spending and higher taxes, time and time again,” Boehner added.  “If House Democrats want to be taken seriously, they should start by supporting common sense proposals that focus on enhancing small business competitiveness, streamlining federal bureaucracy, and helping create new jobs for American workers.”

Since May 2003, more than 4.7 million new jobs have been created and the unemployment rate fell to 4.7 percent in January, its lowest level since July 2001.  Below is a quick rundown of the innovative proposals that Pelosi and House Democrat leaders opposed when Boehner was chairman of the Education & the Workforce Committee:

  • OPPOSED the Deficit Reduction Act (S. 1932 on December 19, 2005), which would encourage high-achieving high school students to study math, science, and critical languages in college and provide them with additional grant assistance beyond what is offered through the Pell Grant program.

  • OPPOSED the Job Training Improvement Act (H.R. 27 on March 2, 2005), which would reform and strengthen job training programs to help job seekers take advantage of new opportunities in America’s growing and changing economy.

  • OPPOSED the Small Business Health Fairness Act (H.R. 525 on July 26, 2005), which would create association health plans to allow small businesses to band together through associations and purchase quality health care for workers and their families at a lower cost.

  • OPPOSED Personal Reemployment Accounts (H.R. 444 on June 3, 2004), an innovative proposal to help unemployed Americans purchase job training and other key services as they strive to return to work.

  • OPPOSED recognition pay for teachers (Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill on June 24, 2005), which would help states and local communities reward teachers through innovative pay-for-performance systems, supported overwhelmingly by the American public, to create incentives for teachers who improve student academic achievement.

  • OPPOSED a bipartisan plan to provide new educational options to disadvantaged students in the District of Columbia (DC appropriations bill on September 5, 2003), which was enacted with the support of D.C. Democratic Mayor Anthony Williams.  Now in its second year, the innovative program is enrolling more than 1,700 low-income students in the nation’s capitol.

  • OPPOSED four common sense OSHA reform bills (H.R. 739, H.R. 740, H.R. 741, and H.R. 742 on July 12, 2005), which would encourage further job creation and promote a climate of cooperation between OSHA and employers to enhance worker safety and focus on results rather than onerous government regulations.

  • OPPOSED bipartisan reforms to cut red tape in higher education (H.R. 4866 on July 16, 2002), which would have expanded college access and eased the financial aid process for both students and schools.  The bipartisan reforms, developed through the innovative FED UP (Upping the Effectiveness of our Federal Student Aid Programs) internet-based outreach initiative, would have improved access to college for disadvantaged students, bolstered support for Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and made other non-controversial technical improvements to the Higher Education Act.