Transcript: Republican House Speaker John Boehner tax reform & spending cuts to avert the fiscal cliff
Edited by Jenny Jiang
Transcript of remarks by Republican House Speaker John Boehner on the fiscal cliff at a press briefing on Nov. 28, 2012:
Morning everyone. Going over the fiscal cliff will hurt our economy and will hurt job creation in our country.
Republicans are committed to continuing to work with the President to come to an agreement to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.
It’s one of the reasons why we believe that we put revenue on the table as long as it’s accompanied by serious spending cuts to avert this crisis.
We believe this fits the President’s request for a balanced approach to this issue.
And we’re going to continue to work with the President to try to resolve this in a way that is fair for the American people.
We all know that we’ve had this spending crisis coming at us like a freight train, and it has to be dealt with.
And in order to try to come to an agreement, Republicans are willing to put revenue on the table but it’s time for the President and Democrats to get serious about the spending problem that our country has.
But I’m optimistic that we can continue to work together to avert this crisis sooner rather than later.
Press briefing Q&A:
Question: Speaker Boehner, your colleague Tom Cole have told some other colleagues that it’s time to vote to extend the middle-class tax cuts, let the top 2 rate cuts expire. I want to get your take on his comments. Is this the direction that the conference is going?
Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio): I told Tom earlier in our conference meeting that I disagree with him. He’s a wonderful friend of mine and a great supporter of mine. But raising taxes on the so-called top percent – now half of those taxpayers are small business owners that pay their taxes through their personal income tax filing every year.
The goal here is to grow the economy and control spending. You’re not going to grow the economy if you raise tax rates on the top 2 rates. It’ll hurt small businesses. It’ll hurt our economy. It’s why this is not the right approach.
We’re willing to put revenue on the table as long as we’re not raising rates.
Question: Republicans haven’t put a number yet on revenues and the Democrats seem to be taking entitlements more and more off the table. So neither side seems to be willing to leave with their thing here in terms of taking a real risk. Why then be optimistic about…?
Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio): I don’t think that we’re – this is the appropriate place to negotiate what may be the biggest bill any member will ever vote on…[mumbled audio]
Question: Can you explain why you’re optimistic? Why are you optimistic that a deal can be reached?
Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio): The President understands, I believe, I understand that going over the fiscal cliff will hurt our economy and hurt job creation in our country. This is not good for our country. It’s as simple as that and the President understands it.
You know me. I was born with the glass half full. I’m an optimist.
Question: As far as spending cuts go, what specific cuts would you like to see? What programs would be the top of your list?
Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio): Well, again, we’ll have that conversation with the President. We don’t need to have it here. Thanks everybody.
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor accuse Democrats of avoiding “serious discussions” on Medicare, Medicaid entitlements
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers says raising taxes on top 2% is a “non-starter”
- GOP.gov: 11/28/12 House Republican Leadership Press Conference
- C-Span.org: Video of House Republican press briefing on the fiscal cliff – Nov. 28, 2012
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