Key Comments by House Speaker Boehner in Interview With CNBC

September 15, 2011 09:08 AM

via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

Obama jobs plan | Tax hikes | Tax reform | Regulations | Congress' approval rating | Tea party impact | FTAs | Immigration

The following are comments made by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in an interview late Thursday on CNBC:

Boehner said there is common ground on parts of President Obama's jobs plan and that "the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is currently looking at the Obama plan."

Asked what is wrong with Obama's plan, Boehner said, "The billions of dollars of tax hikes is something we won't be too favorable about. Raising taxes will help kill jobs. Secondly, to have permanent tax increases to pay for temporary spending doesn't make a lot of long-term economic sense. America wants certainty in regulations, tax reform and getting our debt under control."

Asked about tax reform, Boehner said, "We should do it all...personal and corporate tax reform." He did not know if the Super Committee can do tax reform, "but they can lay the ground work for real tax reform."

Asked whether the GOP is "the party of no" and whether the tea party is running over the GOP, Boehner said, "The tea party wants the same thing I want: less spending, to stop the regulatory onslaught, and they want a fair, flatter tax code. The only radical thing is that they want it done now. I do, but that is not the way our government works. As for the party of no, the president has done that all year."

The Speaker said "job creators are on strike because they look at excessive regulations out of this administration." Asked what he could do to alleviate this regulatory burden, Boehner said when you look at the Republican agenda, his party has laid out 10-12 bills "that will continue to roll back excessive regulations."

Asked about the very low Gallop Poll ratings for Congress, Boehner commented, "Congress has been America's favorite whipping boy for 200 years. It was designed not to keep our government from getting too big. To get 435 people to agree in the House is one thing. Then there is the Senate. And then the president. It is a difficult process. It is what it is."

Asked why things are so "toxic" in Washington, Boehner said, "I don't know if it is toxic. I have had conversations with the president. We are two groups of people with two different plans who don't understand each other. The president and most of his staff have never been in the private system. They believe government has more control over our economy."

Asked about the long pending Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, Boehner said, "The president has yet to submit them."

Regarding immigration issues, Boehner said, "The United States allows 1 million people into our country legally each year – that is more such people than all other countries combined." He said that a lot of international students come here, but yet they go back home, adding "that makes no sense. We need the best and brightest from around the world who go to school here...they ought to be able to stay here."

Asked about the timeline for the jobs bill, Boehner said, "This fall. We have a lot of work to do."


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