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Boehner Column: Americans Deserve Action to Avoid "Fiscal Cliff," Bring the Jobs Home


Location: Washington, DC

Today, John Boehner (R-West Chester) released the following column discussing the lack of action from the president to rescue our economy and bring jobs home:

"Ever since President Obama added nearly a trillion dollars to our debt by ramming the massive 'stimulus' spending bill into law, Americans have been asking the question: where are the jobs? Now as Washington faces the so-called "fiscal cliff' on January 1 -- the dual threat of arbitrary cuts to our national defense, and a tax hike that will destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs -- Americans are increasingly asking a second question: where is the president's plan to rescue our economy and bring jobs home?

"The "cliff' exists because President Obama did not want to deal with the nation's debt limit again before the 2012 presidential election. In 2011, Americans had made clear they were opposed to the president's idea of raising the debt limit and authorizing the U.S. to borrow more money from nations like China without spending cuts and reforms. Following the will of the people, we told the president his debt limit hike could not pass the House unless it was accompanied by spending cuts and reforms larger than the hike itself.

"Desperate to secure a large debt limit increase, the White House came up with a new plan, known as sequestration. Under this plan, which eventually became law, the president would consent to a substantial and immediate spending cut, and a "supercommittee' would be established to come up with the rest of the savings needed to give the president the full debt limit increase he was demanding. The president pledged to work with Congress to find the additional savings -- and if they weren't found, a deep across-the-board cut ("sequester') would automatically be imposed, with half the cuts falling on defense programs.

"At roughly the same time, the president renewed his support for a small business tax hike, a cause he had temporarily abandoned following the 2010 election. The president wants to allow some current tax rates to expire at the end of 2012, meaning taxes would increase on millions of Americans, including hundreds of thousands of small businesses -- the engine of private sector job creation. Ernst & Young estimates this tax hike will cost our economy more than 700,000 jobs.

"America now faces a dual threat: the threat to our economy, posed by the tax hike scheduled to hit on January 1, and the threat to our security, posed by the arbitrary defense cuts that kick in if not replaced with an alternative.

"The House is the only part of the federal government that has taken action to avert this double threat. The House passed a bill in May to replace the defense sequester with responsible cuts and reforms, and passed a bill in July to stop the coming tax hike in its entirety.

"The president, by contrast, has done nothing. Despite warnings from his own Defense Secretary, the president has offered no bill, nor even a specific plan, to replace his defense sequester, meaning harmful military cuts loom closer with each passing day.

"The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently warned doing nothing will almost certainly result in a recession in which the job losses Americans are already facing would intensify. At the same time, Moody's Investor Service has warned that if steps are not taken soon to reduce the national debt, our country's credit will be downgraded.

"There are warning lights flashing on our nation's dashboard, but President Obama and his allies continue to ignore them. The Democratic-controlled Senate hasn't even passed a budget for more than three years.

"The national debt is dragging down our economy and creating a cloud of uncertainty that is driving jobs away. We know what needs to be done to change this: Washington needs to stop spending money it doesn't have; save Medicare and other key programs that are currently spiraling toward bankruptcy; and enact fundamental tax reform to close special-interest loopholes and bring home some of the jobs that have been pushed overseas.

"President Obama, unfortunately, has no plan to do any of these things. Americans want and deserve far better."

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.

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