The day after the election, House Speaker John Boehner, R-West Chester Township, delivered a statement on efforts to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. Here are excerpts:
The American people … didn’t give us a mandate to do the “simple” thing.They elected us to lead.
They gave us a mandate to work together to do the best thing for our country.
We know what the best thing would be. It would be an agreement that sends the signal to our economy, and to the world, that after years of punting on the major fiscal challenges we face, 2013 is going to be different.
It would be an agreement that begins to pave the way for the long-term growth that is essential if we want to lift the cloud of debt hanging over our country.
We won’t solve the problem of our fiscal imbalance overnight, in the midst of a lame duck session of Congress.
And we certainly won’t solve it by simply raising tax rates or taking a plunge off the fiscal cliff.
What we can do is avert the cliff in a manner that serves as a down payment on – and a catalyst for – major solutions, enacted in 2013, that begin to solve the problem.
… There is an alternative to going over the fiscal cliff, in whole or in part.
It involves making real changes to the financial structure of entitlement programs, and reforming our tax code to curb special-interest loopholes and deductions.
By working together and creating a fairer, simpler, cleaner tax code, we can give our country a stronger, healthier economy.
A stronger economy means more revenue, which is what the president seeks.
Because the American people expect us to find common ground, we are willing to accept some additional revenues, via tax reform.
… To garner Republican support for new revenues, the president must be willing to reduce spending and shore up the entitlement programs that are the primary drivers of our debt.
We aren’t seeking to impose our will on the president; we’re asking him to make good on his “balanced” approach.
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