John Boehner took to the House floor to pressure President Obama, but instead he only made things worse for the Republican Party.
Here is the video:
Transcript from Speaker Boehner:
Mr. Speaker, last week, Republicans made a serious offer to avert the fiscal cliff, and most of it was based on testimony given last year by President Clinton’s former chief of staff, Erskine Bowles. And as Mr. Bowles himself said on Sunday: ‘we have to cut spending.’ Well he’s right. Washington has a spending problem. Let’s be honest – we’re broke. And the plan that we’ve offered is consistent with the president’s call for a ‘balanced approach.’
A lot of people know that the president and I met on Sunday. It was a nice meeting, it was cordial. But we’re still waiting for the White House to identify what spending cuts the president is willing to make as part of the ‘balanced approach’ that he promised the American people.
You know, where are the president’s spending cuts? The longer the White House slow-walks this process, the closer our economy gets to the fiscal cliff.
Well here’s what we do know. We know that the president wants more ‘stimulus’ spending and an increase in the debt limit without any cuts or reforms. That’s not fixing our problem. Frankly, it’s making it worse.”
And on top of that, the president wants to raise tax rates on many small business owners. Now even if we did exactly what the president wants, we would see red ink for as far as the eye can see. That’s not fixing our problem either – it’s making it worse and it’s hurting our economy. I think the members know, I’m an optimist. I’m hopeful that we can reach an agreement. This is a serious issue and there’s a lot at stake. The American people sent us here to work together towards the best possible solution, and that means cutting spending.
Now if the president doesn’t agree with our approach, he’s got an obligation to put forward a plan that can pass both chambers of the Congress. Because right now the American people have to be scratching their heads and wondering, ‘when is the president going to get serious?’
Boehner and the Republicans are trying to use a little political sleight of hand in an attempt to distract the American people from the fact that they refuse to raise taxes on the wealthy. The one thing missing from Boehner’s remarks is any mention of raising taxes on the highest income earners. Instead, the Speaker pulled out the tired trick of hiding their protection of the wealthy behind concern for “small businesses.”
Rep. Boehner’s refusal to even acknowledge raising taxes on the wealthy is why his latest blame Obama gamble is destined to blow up in his face. Boehner didn’t try to make his case to the American people for why spending cuts are better than tax increases. He simply refused to acknowledge the most important issue in the minds of the American people. This isn’t just bad politics. It’s bad governance.
All Boehner managed to do was confirm that the Republicans are the ones standing in the way of a deal. The question of how we tackle deficit was already resolved on Election Day. Post election polls continue to show that the public is siding with Obama and the Democrats on the fiscal cliff issue.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that Republicans are playing a losing hand, but it takes a special “talent” to turn a losing hand into total catastrophic failure.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association