Prepared Remarks Of House Republican Leaders At A Press Conference
Participants: House Minority Leader John Boehner; House Minority Whip Eric Cantor; House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence; House Republican Conference Vice Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers
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REP. BOEHNER: Well, good morning.
You know, when you think about what's happened over the course of this year, every time Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats here in Congress tend to do something, it's the American middle class who are taking the hit. They're the ones that pick up the bill. Whether it was the trillion dollar stimulus plan, whether it was the bloated budget that will raise taxes and increase spending and increase the deficit, it's the middle class who continue to take the hit. And I could go on and talk for twenty minutes about all the hits they've taken so far this year. But Democrats here in Congress aren't finished with the American middle class. Just think about what they want to do this summer. They want to nationalize our health insurance and really punish the American middle class who aren't going to be able to choose their own doctors; who are going to be paying much higher taxes to pay for this plan that no one has seen quite yet. And then comes the national energy tax, or their so-called "cap and trade" bill. It's the American middle class that will drive their cars or flip on a light switch; they're going to pay the bill. And, when you look at the bloated spending bills as we get into the appropriations season this year, it's the American middle class who are going to pay for that increase as well.
Republicans understand what's going on out in middle America. We're working on better solutions to help the middle class American families deal with the issues that they're dealing with every day. Whether it's health care, or whether its energy, you'll see Republicans having better solutions that are much more aligned with what middle America is looking for.
REP. CANTOR: Leader, thank you. Good morning.
What the American people are pining for right now is results and we saw yesterday this administration begin to lay out a case for the effectiveness of their stimulus policies. To me, what we saw was spin, not results. The American people know jobs when they see them and this administration and its effort to justify the rush for an $800 billion stimulus bill in January, has now begun to, once again, move the goal post.
And today, we are hearing from the White House that it is the emphasis on PAYGO that Congress must now focus on. Now, that is an interesting claim given that we have just gone through five months of historic spending of taxpayer dollars. We've amassed more debt over the last five months than this country has amassed in the last 200 years. We rammed through a $3.67 trillion budget. So for us to sit here and listen to the White House say that we ought to be more responsible, pay for what we are doing, I think lacks just a little bit of credibility.
We Republicans, as the Leader said, are continuing to offer solutions. We will offer the President once again to sit down with us. We tried before and were not listened to and ignored and when we said that the stimulus effort could be a lot better, we could produce twice as many jobs at half the cost. We've all got some tremendous, tremendous obligations to the people that elect us here. We stand ready and willing to work with this president to get serious about being fiscally responsible to reign in the out of control spending and provide a better way for the future.
REP. MCMORRIS RODGERS: Good morning.
Last week, I found myself at the doctor's office with my two- year-old son, Cole. He was having some tests done. He was having blood drawn and x-rays. It's a little challenging with a two year old, to hold them still for all these little tests. Then my dad ended up in the emergency room. And you know, my experience is not that different from many others across the country. And like anyone else, when someone is sick in your family, it's most important that their health care needs are met and that they have access to the best possible health care providers in our country.
As we approach the debate on health care, I think it is very important that we are making sure that every American has the health care that they need and the health care that they deserve. And it begins by protecting that doctor-patient relationship that is one of the most important relationships in your life and it has been the foundation of our health care in America. We don't want reform that means a government bureaucrat being inserted between the doctor and the patient. It also means that we want to protect the quality of care we've had here in this country.
You know, America has been this wonderful land of innovation and technology. We've done the research that has really helped cure some diseases and improve the quality of life for many others and we want to make sure that that continues. And then number three, we do need to address the cost-drivers within health care. There are ways we can do it - we need to address the waste, fraud and abuse but we have to be very careful that when the majority talks about cutting costs within health care, that it does not mean that the result will be that you are waiting in line for your health care. Or that you will have to wait in line to get your test or your knee replaced. We want to make sure that you continue to have the access that you deserve.
So, on health care, we need to bring Republicans and Democrats together. There is no party that has all the best ideas and we're hopeful that as we move forward on the debate on heath care, that Republicans have the opportunity to be at the table and be presenting our solutions to a very important issue. One that is personal and important to every American in this country.
REP. PENCE: After months of runaway federal spending that's had little effect on improving the fortunes of American families, small businesses and family farmers, now we see Democrats from the administration to Capitol Hill poised to expand the federal government's role in our health care economy, expand the federal government's role in our energy and the American people have had it. They want to see this Congress and this administration return to the practice of common-sense fiscal responsibility.
The President's call now for a restoration of so-called 'PAYGO' rules is going to be met with cynicism by millions. In my experience, when Democrats are talking about 'PAYGO' they mean you pay and they go on spending. The American people want to see Washington, D.C. do what every family and every small business is doing during these difficult times and that is making the hard choices to put our fiscal house in order and Republicans stand ready to do that.
We offered an alternative stimulus bill, creating twice the jobs at half the cost. We offered alternatives to the borrowing and spending and bailout budget of this administration and tomorrow House Republicans will unveil our American Energy Act in this Congress. It won't bring with it a national energy tax that will raise the energy costs of every American household and every American business. Our American energy act will provide a cleaner future and a more prosperous future for the American people, without raising the cost of energy.