Boehner Fires Back at White House Over Tax Hikes


Connie HairBy Connie Hair
09/14/2010

House Republican Leader John Boehner on Monday clarified his position on President Obama’s plan to raise tax rates on small businesses, releasing an extensive statement exclusively to Human Events saying he was unwilling to accept tax hikes for any American.

Boehner said he’s “got a news flash for the White House”—he’s not willing to accept tax increases for any American and that includes job-creating small business owners.

“It’s disappointing and counterproductive that the President and his advisors have decided to spin my comments yesterday as a sign that I am willing to accept tax hikes on any American. Here’s a news flash for the White House: I am not,” Boehner told Human Events. “As a former small businessman committed to freedom and smaller government, I strongly oppose the President’s plan to raise taxes on small business in a struggling economy.”

Boehner also blasted the White House for a deliberate misinformation campaign. 

“I am also unwilling to let the President of the United States and his staff use their positions to mislead the American people into believing Republicans oppose middle-class relief, and I believe my statements yesterday made that clear as well,” Boehner said.

In an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Boehner was accused by host Bob Schieffer of holding tax cuts hostage if the cuts don’t include small businesses.

“Aren’t you kind of holding the tax cuts for the lower-income people, the people making less than $250,000 hostage, so you can give those tax cuts to the upper brackets?” Schieffer asked.

Boehner told Schieffer that his position was to give relief to all Americans paying taxes.

“I want to do something for all Americans who pay taxes. And you have to understand, Bob, that there are large majorities of Democrats in the House and Senate. They haven’t reached out to us for the last 20 months. It’s not Republicans standing in the way here. There’s a growing chorus of Democrats, in both the House and the Senate, who believe that they should extend the current tax rates for all Americans,” Boehner said.

“When you start to look at who’s going to be taxed, about half of all small business income will be taxed under the President’s proposal. These are the very people that we expect to invest in the economy and to begin creating jobs. Why would we want to punish them?” Boehner responded.

When Schieffer asked if Boehner was willing to support limited tax cuts, Boehner responded, “If the only option I have is to vote for some of those tax reductions, I’ll vote for them. But I’ve been making the point now for months that we need to extend all the current rates for all Americans. If we want to get our economy going again and we want to get jobs in America.”

Boehner told HUMAN EVENTS on Monday that he wants the full extension of the tax cuts to come up for a vote before Congress recesses again (to be determined by Democrat leadership) not later than the first week of October to campaign for the November 2 elections.

“Today the senior Republicans on the three committees responsible for such legislation are sending a letter to their Democratic counterparts asking that work on such legislation begin immediately,” Boehner said. “If Congress leaves town this fall having failed to pass such a plan, the White House and Congress will have failed the American people and broken the President’s promise that he will focus on jobs.”

“Last week I, along with Whip [Eric] Cantor, Chairman [Mike] Pence and other House Republicans, set forth a two-point plan for bipartisan action on jobs that would cut non-security discretionary spending to 2008 levels for the next year and freeze all current tax rates to provide certainty for small businesses,” Boehner said.

“The only way forward that will help our economy get back to creating jobs is to stop all the coming tax hikes and cut spending immediately. The American people want all of the tax hikes stopped, as do many of our nation’s top economists and what appears to be an emerging bipartisan majority of legislators in the House of Representatives,” Boehner said.

The shootout broadened to Twitter Monday when White House press secretary Robert Gibbs “tweeted” that Republicans were in “disarray” about tax cuts: “@presssec Disarray = Boehner vs Cantor, Boehner vs McConnell & McConnell vs McConnell – why hold middle class tax cuts hostage to these disagreements”

Boehner shot back from his Twitter account:  “@GOPLeader Attn @presssec: Republicans are unified: to boost our economy, we need to stop ALL tax hikes and cut spending now”

The Democrat majority controls whether the extension of all tax cuts will come to the House floor for a vote. Insiders say the House has the votes the pass the entire tax cut package.

The question is will Democrat leaders allow the full tax-cut extension to come to the floor for a vote?

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