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CNBC "Squawk Box" - Transcript


Location: Washington, DC

On Focusing On Areas Of Agreement To Produce Results: "Certainly it is within the country's best interest and the American people's interest that we all drive towards producing results. Yes, it is in our party's best interest to do what's best for this country. There are plenty of things that we differ on and I think that most Americans do not expect Republicans and Democrats to agree on everything. Certainly that has been on display over the last eight months. We can rise above that and say we're going to set aside the differences on the big things and try to find areas in which we have commonality. The President talked about doing the trade bills. We know from independent sources and even the Administration says passing the trade bills could result in the creation of an additional quarter million jobs in the next 18 months. Why don't we do that? The President talks about middle class tax relief and relief for small businesses such as business expensing. We believe that we ought to provide some incentives for entrepreneurs to jump back in the game of investment."

On Spurring Economic Growth Through Incentives, Not Higher Taxes: "We don't believe that taxes should go up on anybody. That's what we've been about for the last eight months is trying to get our fiscal house in order and stop spending money we don't have so we don't have to go tax it or borrow it. We also believe you should let money stay with the people that earn it, and it will flow to its most efficient use a lot better than having Washington decide. We don't believe you ought to raise taxes. We have a better way to provide incentives and job growth, but we're willing to work with the President on that. What we're not willing to do is to pay for a stimulus program through raising taxes the way he has proposed. If you look at the President's proposals, he is limiting the benefit of mortgage interest deductions which raises the cost on all Americans that pay over the 28% tax bracket. He is increasing the tax on charitable deductions right now. I don't think anybody thinks that's a good idea when you've got so many people in need of charitable help."

On The President's Credibility Gap On Spending: "The President is suffering from a credibility gap when it comes to his suggestions of putting more stimulus money out there. We have been there, done that. There was never any guarantee that his stimulus plan would work and it didn't work. Some of us don't believe you crank out money from Washington and create sustainable jobs. That's why we're trying to counter with an approach to tell the President, look, there are some areas that we can agree together on. He talked generally about reforming the bureaucracy and getting rid of regulatory impediments to job growth. Each week, we Republicans in the House are putting forward some regulatory reform issues. Yesterday, we passed with bipartisan support, a bill which says to the National Labor Relations Board, you can't go and tell a private company where to expand or create jobs. That's not America. We're about trying to make it easier for capital to flow into this country and for businesses both large and small to get going again so that the middle class in this country can get back to work."

On Working Together To Create A Competitive Economy: "We all want to see this economy come back. The best way to begin to do that is to lower the tax rates, simplify the code, get rid of the loopholes and the preferences and broaden the base. We are trying to get there. The problem is the President, Harry Reid and others don't agree in trying to do that without increasing rates. We don't believe that you raise taxes when you're trying to pursue economic growth. It's that simple. While we do want comprehensive tax reform as a goal so we can actually see a competitive environment to conduct business in America, and I think it's more about trying to focus on what we can do together. There have been a lot of differences in Washington. I think now is the time we all have to focus on how we're going to get a recovery going."

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