House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Republican leaders today met with former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and the "Fix the Debt" coalition of business leaders to discuss a balanced framework for averting the fiscal cliff and solving our debt crisis. Speaker Boehner released the following statement after the meeting:
"Going over the "fiscal cliff' would hurt our economy and cost jobs, and people in both parties agree we need a "balanced approach' to deal with our debt. One thing Republicans won't be party to is a deal that protects big businesses and preserves special-interest tax breaks while raising tax rates on the small businesses we're counting on to create jobs.
"To show we're serious about reaching a bipartisan agreement, we have offered to accept some new revenues, provided the revenue comes from tax reform and is accompanied by significant spending cuts. Without spending cuts and entitlement reform, it is impossible to address our country's debt crisis. We put revenue on the table. Now, it's important for President Obama and congressional Democrats to tell the American people what spending cuts they're willing to make, and I'm hopeful the "Fix the Debt' coalition will call on them to do so.
"Republicans are eager to forge a bipartisan agreement that can pass both chambers of Congress. The framework we've outlined is the responsible path, and it is consistent with the "balanced' approach the White House says it wants."