Today, Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) released the following column discussing House Republicans' plans to address both the threat to our security posed by the defense sequester, and the threat to our economy posed by the looming tax hike:
"Because of last year's failure by Washington to sufficiently reduce the deficit, current federal law requires that hundreds of billions of dollars in indiscriminate cuts be made to the national defense budget by January 2, 2013. At that very same time, a small business tax hike is set to hit our nation's job creators. If Washington does not act, the blow to our national security and economy in January 2013 could be devastating. House Republicans are the only ones in Washington who have offered a plan to address both the threat to our security posed by the defense sequester, and the threat to our economy posed by the coming tax hike on small business owners.
"The branches of our armed services have so far been called upon to accept disproportionally high levels of cuts compared to the rest of the federal government. If the 2013 sequester defense cuts, combined with defense reductions already set to go into place, are allowed to proceed, the consequences could be serious. The president's own Defense Secretary has warned that the scheduled defense cuts will "inflict severe damage to our national defense.' The enormously critical and challenging missions facing our armed services members across the globe will not diminish on January 1st, but the resources they have to carry them out will.
"House Republicans passed a plan to avert the devastating defense cuts and replace them with common-sense reforms and reductions that go beyond the savings mandated under current law, without compromising our defense capabilities and national security. The Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act (H.R. 5652), passed by the House on May 10, combines the work of six House committees that produced deficit reduction plans in their respective areas of expertise and produces a savings of $243 billion over ten years.
"Unfortunately, President Obama and Senate Democrats refuse to act. The president has offered no plan of his own to replace the arbitrary cuts with a more responsible approach, and Senate Democrats have made clear that they support allowing the scheduled cuts to take effect, regardless of the consequences. In similar fashion, President Obama and the Democrats who run Washington have been clear that they are not interested in preventing the massive tax increase on small business owners.
"Set to be implemented at the same time as the sequester, President Obama's massive tax hike will hurt job creation across the country. According to a recent report released by Ernst & Young, the president's small business tax hike threatens more than 700,000 jobs, and will lead to even less economic growth, less investment, and lower wages for American workers.
"That's why the House has a plan to stop all of the tax hikes, and to lay the groundwork for a fairer, simpler tax code that closes loopholes, lowers rates for everyone, and helps bring home some of the jobs that have gone overseas. Most Americans understand that if we raise taxes on job creators, we're going to have fewer jobs. If Democrats want to keep threatening to raise taxes and risk tanking our already-weak economy, the American people will hold them accountable.
"If President Obama and Senate Democrats continue to avoid addressing the threats posed to our country, January 2013 will prove to be devastating for our nation. Instead of working with Congress to address these challenges and help create new jobs, the president is on the campaign trail. The President of the United States is chosen by the people to lead, and now is the time. The president should call on his Democratic allies in the U.S. Senate to join the House and take action to avert the dual threat to our country that is posed by the coming tax hike and defense sequester."
Boehner represents Ohio's 8th District, which includes all of Darke, Miami, and Preble counties, most of Butler and Mercer counties, and the northeastern corner of Montgomery County. He was first elected to Congress in 1990.