Delivering the Weekly Republican Address, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) notes that the House has acted to avert the entire fiscal cliff, and President Obama and his Democratic-controlled Senate now must do the same. "We will continue to work with our colleagues in the Congress and the White House on a plan that protects families and small businesses," Boehner says, before wishing all Americans a Merry Christmas.
"As you know, unless President Obama and Congress take action, tax rates will go up on every American on January 1st.
"The day after that, a mandatory "sequester' will go into effect that will implement harmful cuts to our national defense. That is currently the law of the land.
"The House has done its part to avert this entire fiscal cliff. On the 10th of May and again on Thursday, we passed legislation that would replace the "sequester' with responsible spending cuts. We also passed a bill to stop all of the January 1 tax hikes. The events of the past week make it clearer than ever that these measures reflect the will of the House.
"The American people re-elected President Obama on Election Day. They also re-elected a Republican majority in the House. In doing so, they gave us all a mandate. It was not a mandate to raise tax rates on families and small businesses. It was a mandate for us to work together to begin solving the massive debt that threatens our country's future.
"Unfortunately, the president and Senate Democrats have vowed to reject and veto all of our proposals while failing to offer a responsible solution of their own.
"What the president has offered so far simply won't do anything to solve our spending problem and begin to address our nation's crippling debt. Instead, he wants more spending and more tax hikes that will hurt our economy. And he refuses to challenge the members of his party to deal honestly with entitlement reform and the big issues facing our nation. That is why we find ourselves here today.
"I've challenged the members of our party to grapple with these issues, to make tough choices. And we're willing to -- because Washington has a serious spending problem. This was the year the size of our debt -- all 16 trillion dollars of it -- surpassed the size of our entire economy. It's a grim milestone, one of many we'll have to bear if we don't come to grips with it.
"The president's solution of raising tax rates would still leave red ink as far as the eye can see. And it would hurt jobs, at a time when far too many of our citizens are struggling to find them.
"I used to run a small business. I've seen the damage higher taxes can do to jobs and families. I don't want tax rates to go up. Republicans don't want tax rates to go up. The best way to address our crippling debt is to make significant spending cuts and fix our tax code to pave the way for long-term growth and opportunity. This is an approach most Americans support, and it remains Republicans' highest priority. But we only run the House. Democrats run Washington.
"Of course, hope springs eternal, and I know we have it in us to come together and do the right thing. We will continue to work with our colleagues in the Congress and the White House on a plan that protects families and small businesses.
"For now, I wish all the American people a blessed and Merry Christmas."