At his weekly press briefing today, Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) said the House will pass a plan tomorrow that protects all Americans from the president's health care law, moving the battle to defund ObamaCare to the Senate "where it belongs." Boehner also took President Obama to task for negotiating with Russia, while refusing to work with Republicans on debt limit legislation that addresses the massive debt and deficits that threaten the economy. As Boehner noted, "every major deficit reduction plan over the last 30 years has been tied to the debt limit," and this time should be no different. Following are Boehner's remarks:
On Upcoming House Vote to Defund ObamaCare, Move Fight to the Senate:
"Tomorrow we'll pass a plan to protect the American people from the president's health care law, while keeping the rest of government up and running. When it comes to the health care law, the debate in the House has been settled. I think our position is very clear: The law is a train wreck, and it's going to raise costs, it's destroying American jobs - and it must go.
"We'll deliver a big victory in the House tomorrow. Then this fight will move over to the Senate -- where it belongs. I expect my Senate colleagues to be up for the battle."
On the Long History of Common-Sense Legislation Coupling Spending Cuts & Reforms with the Debt Limit:
"And while that fight plays out, we engage in another set of challenges: the debt limit and -- more importantly -- the debt itself. Let me be very clear: Republicans have no interest in defaulting on our debt. None. We just want to find a way to pay it off. That's why the House will act on a plan that will reduce the deficit and includes pro-growth economic reforms -- including a delay of the president's health care law.
"There's a common-sense principle here: If you're going to raise the debt ceiling, you should work to reduce the deficit and grow the economy at the same time -- the president's remarks notwithstanding. You know, the White House may not get it, but frankly, the American people get it.
"Every major deficit reduction plan over the last 30 years has been tied to the debt limit. In 1985, President Reagan signed the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings deficit reduction bill, which included an increase in the debt limit. When President Bush reached a budget deal with Democrats here in the Congress in 1990, it included an increase in the debt limit. President Clinton reached two similar agreements, both tied to the debt limit. And I would remind President Obama himself that in the summer of 2011 there was a major deficit reduction bill enacted with an increase in the debt limit.
"This time should be no different. In fact, I think it's more important than ever."
On the President Negotiating with Putin, While Refusing to Work with Congress to Address Debt & Deficits:
"A report this week from the Congressional Budget Office makes it clear that our debt is set to grow rapidly in the coming years if we take no action. That's why it's so troubling that the president's decided to just sit out this debate. He says he won't engage.
"You know, most presidents refer to their bipartisan efforts to reduce the deficit as "achievements.' The president sees this as "extortion.'
"So, while the president is happy to negotiate with Vladimir Putin, he won't engage with the Congress on a plan that deals with the deficits that threaten our economy. Let me just be clear here: a debt limit increase without any reforms to lower our deficit just isn't going to cut it. Not when, under this president, the United States has racked up six trillion worth of additional debt. You can see it right here. When the president took office look what's happened over these years and look what happens out into the future if we don't do something about our spending problem. So a bill that does nothing to deal with the deficit is really telling the world that we're not willing to deal with our spending problem.
"The president needs to recognize that we've got a shared responsibility to govern. He can try to stay on the sidelines. But, here in the House, we're going to lead."