Speaker Boehner took a page from Paul Ryan’s playbook, using a graph created by the House Budget Committee to highlight the Republican case that the federal government has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. He accused the president of a lack of seriousness on spending, and used the graph to demonstrate why he believes the revenue increases proposed by President Obama will not deal with the deficit. Boehner hedged against arguments that the president had earned a mandate in the election by arguing that the mandate was really for Congress and the White House to work together. He again placed the onus on the president to respond to the GOP’s counteroffer.
Speaker Boehner blamed the White House for failing to act on House proposals to cut mandatory spending in order to avoid the fiscal cliff. He also stated that he will not raise taxes on middle income earners regardless of public opinion, but refused to say whether or not he would decouple rates for middle income earners from the rates for top earners.
Boehner denied that he had purged committee chairs for being too conservative, and express confidence that he would remain as Speaker of the House.
When asked about his position on the debt limit, Speaker Boehner said Congress would never cede that authority, and that Senate Democrats would never give the same authority to a Republican president. Boehner argued that the debt limit should be used as leverage to force the White House into cutting spending.