House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who suffered an embarrassing setback this week with the failure of his "Plan B" proposal in the House, used his weekly address today to call on President Obama to "deal honestly" with the fiscal problems facing the country and again underscore the GOP's aversion to raising taxes.
Boehner reminded Americans of what's at stake in the next 10 days, saying, "As you know, unless President Obama and Congress take action, tax rates will go up on every American on January 1.
"The day after that, a mandatory 'sequester' will go into effect that will implement harmful cuts to our national defense," explained Boehner. "That is currently the law of the land."
Arguing that "The House has done its part to avert this entire fiscal cliff," Boehner cited the passage of "legislation that would replace the 'sequester' with responsible spending cuts and "a bill to stop all of the January 1 tax hikes."
"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," he said.
Boehner explained, "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," accusing the president of refusing "to challenge the members of his party to deal honestly with entitlement reform and the big issues facing our nation."
"I've challenged the members of our party to grapple with these issues, to make tough choices," said Boehner, eliding the fact that many in his own caucus rebelled against his "Plan B" compromise this week.
"The president's solution of raising tax rates would still leave red ink as far as the eye can see," argued Boehner. "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," he added. "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."
Despite the gulf between the two parties just ten days from the "fiscal cliff," Boehner remained optimistic: "Of course, hope springs eternal, and I know we have it in us to come together and do the right thing,"
"For now, I wish all the American people a blessed and Merry Christmas."