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Entries in John Boehner (14)

Wednesday
Dec192012

Senior Administration Officials Warn Business Leaders About Boehner’s Fiscal Cliff "Plan B"

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Senior Obama administration officials met with business leaders to argue that House Speaker John Boehner’s “Plan B” could put the nation on a path to go over the fiscal cliff, a source familiar with the meeting told ABC News Wednesday afternoon.

The effort is just the latest example of the Obama administration trying to urge the Republican Party’s supporters in the business community to urge Tea Party supporters to be more willing to compromise with Democrats.

The Obama administration officials present were chief of staff Jack Lew, senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Director of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling, and Office of Management and Budget director Jeff Zients.

The business leaders present were Tom Donohue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; former Michigan Gov. John Engler of the Business Roundtable; former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty of the Financial Services Roundtable; Rob Nichols of the Financial Services Forum; Marion Blakey of the Aerospace Industries Association; Lockheed Martin Chairman and CEO Bob Stevens; president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers Jay Timmons; and Dan Danner of the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep062012

Bob Woodward Book: Debt Deal Collapse Led to 'Pure Fury' from Obama

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- An explosive mix of dysfunction, miscommunication, and misunderstandings inside and outside the White House led to the collapse of a historic spending and debt deal that President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner were on the verge of reaching last summer, according to revelations in author Bob Woodward's latest book.

The book, The Price of Politics, on sale Sept. 11, 2012, shows how close the president and the House speaker were to defying Washington odds and establishing a spending framework that included both new revenues and major changes to long-sacred entitlement programs.

But at a critical juncture, with an agreement tantalizingly close, Obama pressed Boehner for additional taxes as part of a final deal -- a miscalculation, in retrospect, given how far the House speaker felt he'd already gone.

The president called three times to speak with Boehner about his latest offer, according to Woodward.  But the speaker didn't return the president's phone call for most of an agonizing day, in what Woodward calls a "monumental communications lapse" between two of the most powerful men in the country.

When Boehner finally did call back, he jettisoned the entire deal.  Obama lost his famous cool, according to Woodward, with a "flash of pure fury" coming from the president; one staffer in the room said Obama gripped the phone so tightly he thought he would break it.

"He was spewing coals," Boehner told Woodward, in what is described as a borderline "presidential tirade."

"He was pissed…. He wasn't going to get a damn dime more out of me.  He knew how far out on a limb I was.  But he was hot.  It was clear to me that coming to an agreement with him was not going to happen, and that I had to go to Plan B," Boehner continued.

Accounts of the final proposal that led to the deal's collapse continue to differ sharply.  The president says he was merely raising the possibility of putting more revenue into the package, while Boehner maintains that the president needed $400 billion more, despite an earlier agreement of no more than $800 billion in total revenue, derived through tax reform.

Obama and his aides argue that the House speaker backed away from a deal because he couldn't stand the political heat inside his own party -- or even, perhaps, get the votes to pass the compromise.  They say he took the president's proposal for more revenue as an excuse to pull out of talks altogether.

"I was pretty angry," the president told Woodward about the breakdown in negotiations.  "There's no doubt I thought it was profoundly irresponsible, at that stage, not to call me back immediately and let me know what was going on."

The failure of Obama to connect with Boehner was vaguely reminiscent of another phone call late in the evening of Election Day 2010, after it became clear that the Republicans would take control of the House, making Boehner Speaker of the House.

Nobody in the Obama orbit could even find the soon-to-be-speaker's phone number, Woodward reports.  A Democratic Party aide finally secured it through a friend so the president could offer congratulations.

While questions persist about whether any grand bargain reached by the principals could have actually passed in the Tea Party-dominated Congress, Woodward issues a harsh judgment on White House and congressional leaders for failing to act boldly at a moment of crisis.  Particular blame falls on the president.

"It was increasingly clear that no one was running Washington.  That was trouble for everyone, but especially for Obama," Woodward writes.

For all the finger-pointing now, Obama and Boehner appear to have developed a rapport during the negotiations.  The Illinois Democrat bonded with the Ohio Republican, starting with a much-publicized "golf summit" and continuing through long, substantive chats on the Truman Balcony and the patio right outside the Oval Office.

Tune in to World News with Diane Sawyer and Nightline on Monday, Sept. 10, 2012, to see Diane Sawyer's exclusive interview with Bob Woodward.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul242012

Cutting ‘Red Tape,’ House GOP Pushes for Small Businesses

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With the national unemployment rate stagnant around 8 percent, House Republicans this week are taking to the floor to loosen “job-killing” regulations they say hurt small businesses.

“The House remains focused on jobs,” House Speaker John Boehner told reporters on Capitol Hill today. “These bills that we’ll be moving this week will cut through the red tape and freeze new regulations until unemployment is at or below six percent.”

House Republicans are championing the Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act, which would limit government regulations for businesses until the unemployment rate falls to six percent. Boehner and other House leaders today pointed to a Small Business Administration study that found regulations cost employers $10,000 per year per employee, adding that 78 percent of small business owners believe regulations stand in the way of new hiring.

Republican leaders attacked President Obama’s administration for imposing 400 new business regulations since he took office, costing more than $100 million a year, they said.

“The president’s out there talking about being there for small business, trying to respond to the economy, but his actions don’t necessarily meet his words,” said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

“If we want to do something about jobs, we go right to our job creators and try and help them create more opportunities for more people,” he continued. “That’s what we’re doing this week: We’re removing the red tape, we’re acting to try and make it easier for entrepreneurs to invest and create jobs.”

Republicans were also quick to seize the president’s comments on the campaign trail July 13, in implying his stump line “you didn’t build that” was meant as an attack on U.S. business owners.

“You talk to any small business person in America … the first thing they say is, ‘With all due respect, Mr. President, I built this business. You didn’t,’” said Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, adding that the Obama administration has seen a 53 percent increase in business regulations. “‘And Mr. President … not only did you not build this business — you’re hurting this business.”

Next week, House Republicans will act to extend all current tax rates in an attempt to tackle the so-called “taxmageddon” which experts say could plunge the economy into another recession, before many provisions of the tax code are set to expire at the end of the year.

“The uncertainty looming on these tax hikes needs to be erased,” Cantor, R-Va., said. “That is the opposite of what Americans want. We’ll continue to try and deliver on the promise to get this economy back on track.”

Boehner said Democratic leaders need to step up with their own plan if they do not like the GOP’s proposal.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun082012

Boehner, Cantor Pounce on President Obama’s Rosy View of Private Sector

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Shortly after President Obama arrived at the White House briefing room and assured the American people that the private sector was doing just fine, the top two House Republican leaders condemned his message and urged the president to embrace GOP proposals to help spur economic growth.

“Mr. President, I used to run a small business, and Mr. President, take it from me: The private sector is not doing well,” Speaker of the House John Boehner said incredulously during a news conference arranged quickly after Obama’s news conference. “The American people are still asking the question, ‘Where are the jobs?’”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor echoed the speaker’s reaction, and called on Obama “to stop engaging in the blame game.”

“We just listened to the president say that the private sector is doing fine, and my question to the president would be, ‘Are you kidding?’” Cantor, R-Va., exclaimed. “Did he see the job numbers that came out last week? The private sector is not doing fine.”

Boehner denied the president’s claim that a lack of federal money for state and local governments was at fault for the country’s economic malaise, telling reporters that he believes the true culprit is the federal government, which he said, “continues to spend money that we don’t have.”

“With these looming tax hikes and the regulations coming out of Washington, we have frozen employers in place,” he said. “If we would have a moratorium on regulations and extend all the current tax rates, we would free employers, provide more certainty for them to go out and begin to hire the American people.”

As a wide array of tax provisions are set to expire at the end of the year, Boehner once again repeated the GOP’s intent to pass legislation that would extend all current tax rates and called on the president to embrace that proposition.

“Stopping the looming tax hikes will help job creators because they’ll have more certainty about what the tax rates are going to be and help create a better environment for them to create jobs,” Boehner said. “We’re going to vote next month on extending all of the current tax rates and the president should assure the nation that when this bill gets to his desk, he’ll sign it into law.”

The speaker also disagreed with the assertion that one of the reasons Europe faces an imminent financial disaster is because of the austerity measures that had been put in place, proposals that are much like those pitched by Republicans to address U.S. debt.

“The reason Europe is in the shape that it’s in is because they waited too long to deal with their problems,” Boehner said. “If we don’t get busy dealing with our debt, we’re gonna be in the same shape.”

“Just because Europe has problems doesn’t mean that we can’t begin to solve our problems,” he continued. “We can help American job creators by taking the actions that we’ve outlined. There’s no excuse why we should wait … for the convenience of an election. Let’s get to work today.”

Despite Obama’s request that Congress consider the items on his To Do list, Cantor made it clear that the GOP majority would continue its efforts to counter the administration’s policies.

The House of Representatives has already concluded this week’s legislative business, and lawmakers are now heading back to their districts for another Constituent Work Week, much to the chagrin of House Democrats, who complain that Republicans are putting off dealing with student loan interest rates and the highway bill to fund transportation.

“Republicans are sending Members home for the ninth week-long recess of the year,” Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., wrote in a statement Friday. “Their message is clear: they have no intention of creating jobs.  Their only plan is inaction, obstruction, and delay that weakens consumer confidence, causes uncertainty, and jeopardizes our recovery."

The House returns to session June 18.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr182012

Boehner Says Obama 'AWOL,' Lacks Courage to Fix Economy

ABC/Martin H. Simon(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday took a direct assault to President Obama, criticizing the president for “shrinking from his responsibility to lead” on the economy and suggesting the president lacks “any courage to help tackle these problems.”

“The president’s been AWOL,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said. “The president checked out last Labor Day. He spent the last six months campaigning from one end of the country to the other instead of working with members of both political parties here in Washington to address the serious challenges that our country faces.”

Playing off Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner’s comments last weekend that the Obama administration’s economic policies have been “remarkably effective,” Boehner ticked off a number of economic statistics that he was not impressed by.

“I don’t think there’s anything remarkably effective about 38 straight months of unemployment higher than eight percent, the longest such period since the Great Depression,” Boehner said. “I don’t think there’s anything remarkably effective about adding $5 trillion of debt on the backs of our kids and our grandkids. And there’s nothing remarkably effective about doubling gas prices and blocking more American energy production that could begin to address those rising gas prices.”

Boehner dismissed a suggestion from a reporter that the Republican House majority shares some of the blame for dysfunction as Washington struggles to produce results.

“I’ve told the president over a year ago if there were ideas that he and I could agree on that were in the best interests of our country, I’d be there to support him,” he said. “If the president won’t lead Republicans will, and we are.”

The House is poised to vote Wednesday on another 90-day extension of the highway bill, which would serve as the lower chamber’s legislative vehicle to conference negotiations with the Senate on a long-term agreement. That bill also has a mechanism to force approval of the GOP’s prized Keystone Pipeline, which the president opposes.

“The fact that the president has threatened to veto the Keystone pipeline just shows how out of touch he is. The American people want us to build the Keystone pipeline. They want those jobs created now,” Boehner said. “Americans are working harder than ever to create new jobs and opportunities despite the obstacles that Washington continues to throw at them. Just think about what could be achieved if the president were serious about working with members here in Congress on both sides of the aisle to address the serious challenges that face our country.”

Thursday the House is scheduled to vote on a 20 percent small business tax cut, which the speaker said would impact 20 million American small businesses. Boehner challenged Obama to work in good faith with both political parties to help improve the economy and he called on the president to pressure Senate Democrats to act on more House-passed economic initiatives.

“Maybe he doesn’t like this 20 percent tax cut that would help 20 million small businesses. What are his ideas?” Boehner asked. “When there’s no conversation, [and] there’s no engagement, all we’re left with is moving our own ideas through the regular order, through the regular process here in Congress.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan202012

Boehner Sees Election as Referendum on Obama’s Economic Policies

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Taking a break from the GOP’s annual issues conference in Baltimore on Friday, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio predicted that the election this fall will be a referendum on the president’s economic policies and the divided Congress provides his Republican colleagues an opportunity to draw a stark distinction with Democrats in the next 10 months.

“President Obama’s policies have not helped our economy,” Boehner said. “As a matter of fact, his policies have made our economy worse. It’s pretty clear to the American people that these policies are not working and when you look at this election that’s coming up, it’s pretty clear it’s going to be a referendum on the president’s policies regarding our economy.”

To paint a clearer picture of what Republicans consider the failed policies of the White House, Boehner said he has asked all House Republicans to examine the effect of the administration’s policies in order to make sure Americans “understand the devastating impact of these policies on our economy.”

“When it comes to oversight, it’s pretty clear to me that there are a lot of members of Congress who really don’t have a good understanding of how our economy works,” Boehner said.

The speaker added that with “more extensive oversight focused on these policies, we’d be able to educate members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, which, frankly, would be the best path forward in order to get any of that changed.

“Maybe we can convince some of our colleagues across the aisle, maybe we can even convince the president of the United States that these policies are not only not helping, but they’re hurting the ability of small businesses to create jobs in our country,” Boehner said. “Our focus over the course of this year will be on the economy and on jobs and making sure that hard-working taxpayers have a real opportunity at a good job in our country.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan122012

Obama Asks for $1.2 Trillion Debt-Limit Increase

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama took the first step toward raising the debt limit again Thursday, officially asking Congress for a $1.2 trillion increase.

In a formal letter, the president informed the Speaker of the House that “further borrowing is required to meet existing commitments.”

The increase will occur unless the House and Senate pass a resolution against it, under the budget deal reached in August to prevent a government default. Congress now has 15 days to reject the request.

Republicans are expected to use the request as an opportunity to attack the president’s spending policies. “Washington’s mounting debt is a drag on our economic recovery, and this request is another reminder that the president has consistently punted on the tough choices needed to rein in the deficit and protect important programs for American seniors from going bankrupt,” a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio 

Monday
Dec122011

Boehner Urges Democrats to Support GOP’s Economic Package

Chris Maddaloni/CQ-Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- As Congress wrestles over a slate of outstanding issues to settle before the end of the year, House Speaker John Boehner Monday urged Democrats to join Republicans in passing an economic package that would extend a number of expiring measures, like unemployment insurance and the payroll tax credit.

“I do believe that [the Middle Class Tax Relief and Jobs Act] is going to pass with bipartisan support, and when it comes to jobs the American people can’t wait,” Boehner said. “We’re going to take action.”

The Ohio Republican would not reveal whether he would dismiss lawmakers once the House concludes its business, but he said it is “important” that Congress pass the extensions to help Americans desperate for relief.

“We’re going to have to wait until later on in the week to see what the Senate does,” Boehner said. “All I can do is report to you about what the House is doing and I’m confident that we’re going to move the bills that we need to move this week, and then the Senate can do whatever the Senate has to do.”

The GOP’s proposal would extend the payroll tax credit for one year, reform and extend unemployment insurance, and implement a “doc fix” to protect Medicare physicians from large reimbursement cuts. It also accelerates a presidential decision on the Keystone XL energy pipeline, which Republicans say will create tens of thousands of jobs but Democrats have decried as a poison pill in the Senate.

Boehner said he believes the GOP’s bill will pass with bipartisan support when it comes to the floor Tuesday, citing an endorsement by Blue Dog Democrat Rep. Dan Boren, who called on Congress Monday to “come together in a bipartisan way to pass this legislation.”

But many Democrats and President Obama point to the controversial pipeline project as justification to oppose the package. Nevertheless, Boehner said he still believes there’s a “good shot” that the Senate will pass the measure with the provision included.

Boehner would not comment on the prospect of further negotiations if the House passes the bill but the Senate rejects it.

“The House is going to do its job, and it’s time for the Senate then to do its job,” he said.

Aside from the payroll tax credit, unemployment insurance and SGR/Doc Fix, which are all set to expire Dec. 31, the House must also pass an omnibus appropriations bill to fund the government before the current continuing resolution runs out on Friday. That bill is expected to be introduced as soon as Tuesday morning, with a vote in the House as early as Thursday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug172011

Boehner to Obama: Use Jobs Speech to Change Economic Approach

Mario Tama/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker John Boehner reacted Wednesday to the announcement that the president will soon deliver a major speech on jobs, encouraging Obama to change his leadership approach on the economy and “offer specific proposals that depart from his previous policies and allow us to find common ground and work together to put Americans back to work.”

“To get our economy moving, what the American people need from the President is leadership and serious solutions that reflect a true change in his approach to our economy and the role of government,” Boehner said in a statement. “We welcome him to our ongoing efforts to help create jobs, and look forward to seeing a detailed plan next month.”

Full statement below:

 “In the third year of his term, Americans are still asking President Obama, ‘Where are the Jobs?’  That’s why Republicans, in contrast to the Democrats who run the White House and Senate, have made creating a better environment for job creation our number one focus. From our Path to Prosperity budget to our Plan for America’s Job Creators – which was built on our Pledge to America – House Republicans have laid out a clear, consistent jobs agenda, and acted on it. The House has passed legislation to remove barriers to private-sector job creation, ease job-destroying regulations, expand American energy production, and significantly reduce our unsustainable debt burden. The House has led, but unfortunately we cannot act alone. Too many House-passed jobs bills remain stalled in the Democratic-controlled Senate, and we continue to urge our colleagues in the Senate to act.

“To get our economy moving, what the American people need from the President is leadership and serious solutions that reflect a true change in his approach to our economy and the role of government. We welcome him to our ongoing efforts to help create jobs, and look forward to seeing a detailed plan next month. It is my hope the President will offer specific proposals that depart from his previous policies and allow us to find common ground and work together to put Americans back to work. In the meantime, Republicans will continue to advance solutions that will reduce economic uncertainty and create a better environment for private-sector job creation.”


Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun172011

Economy Still Recovering One Year After Obama's 'Recovery Summer'

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- One year ago, the White House announced its “Recovery Summer,” a six week effort to heavily promote the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which was intended to create new jobs and boost the economy.  With economic growth stagnating and the unemployment rate at 9.1 percent, the only ones eager to celebrate the anniversary are Congressional Republicans.

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, pounced on the opportunity to attack the administration’s economic policies and promote the GOP’s plan to increase job creation.

"The anniversary of President Obama’s 'Recovery Summer' publicity stunt is a good reminder that families and small businesses in Ohio and across the country can’t afford more spending and more debt -- they need more jobs. And Republicans are listening," Boehner wrote in an op-ed Friday.

“‘Recovery Summer’ fizzled, much like the ‘stimulus’ itself. Republicans have a real blueprint for job creation -- the ‘Plan for America’s Job Creators.’ What makes our plan different is that it focuses on one thing: removing government barriers to private-sector job growth,” the Speaker wrote.  “The ‘stimulus’ was all about big spending and big government -- not jobs.”

Asked about the anniversary Friday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney defended the administration’s record: one million private sector jobs created in the last six months, more than two million in the last 17 months.

“The fact is that recovery is taking place. Growth is happening,” Carney said.  “It is not enough. I remind you that when we took office, the economy was in free fall. There was fear of a global depression. There was a contraction in the economy of greater than 6 percent quarterly. There was a loss of jobs at a pace of 700,000 a month.”

“While we are not where we want to be, we are in a better position now than we were in January of 2009 by far. And we continue to work every day to increase job creation and promote economic growth, because the hole that was dug by the recession, by the financial crisis, by the -- some of the misguided policy decisions of the previous decade is a deep one. And we’re climbing out of it, and we continue to work hard to climb out of it,” he said.

However, even the president recently joked about the job-creating potential of the stimulus. Speaking at a meeting with his Jobs Council on Monday in North Carolina, Obama quipped that those “shovel ready” projects “weren’t as shovel ready as we expected.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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