Three days after Senate Republicans blocked President Obama’s latest stimulus spending plan, a $60 billion roads bill, House Speaker John A. Boehner said Sunday that the U.S. House will take action on its own infrastructure package.
“You’re going to see the House move, I think, before the end of the year on an infrastructure bill,” the Ohio Republican said in an interview broadcast Sunday on ABC´s “This Week.”
Mr. Boehner said he was confident that the bipartisan supercommittee charged with cutting more than $1 trillion dollars out of the national debt will reach a deal before its Nov. 23 deadline. If the supercommittee cannot work out an agreement, across-the-board cuts to domestic and defense programs would kick in 2013.
“I’m going to do everything I can to ensure that the supercommittee is successful,” Mr. Boehner said.
He reiterated that he and other Republicans are open to the possibility of restructuring the tax code.
“As long as our colleagues on the other side are serious about cutting spending,” he said, Republicans would be open to supporting revenue increases - through tax reform, not with tax increases - as a part of the supercommittee deal.
“We’ve made promises to ourselves that our kids and grandkids cannot afford,” he said.
Mr. Boehner called for restructuring the tax code with a maximum corporate and personal rate of 25 percent.
“It would put Americans back to work. We’d have a broader base on the tax rules,” he said. “And out of that, there would be real economic growth and more revenues for the federal government.”
Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked the president’s latest stimulus spending proposal, a $60 billion proposal for building and repairing roads, rail lines and other infrastructure, and Mr. Obama immediately accused the GOP of putting party before country.
“The American people deserve to know why their Republican representatives in Washington refuse to put some of the workers hit hardest by the economic downturn back on the job rebuilding America,” Mr. Obama said. “It’s time for Republicans in Congress to put country ahead of party and listen to the people they were elected to serve. It’s time for them to do their job and focus on Americans’ jobs.”
Mr. Boehner said the president is stoking “class warfare” in the country.
“Come on, the top 1 percent pay 38 percent of income taxes in America. How much more do you want them to pay?” he said.
“I come from a family of 12. My dad owned a bar. I’ve got brothers and sisters on every rung of the economic ladder,” he said. “We are not going to engage in class warfare. The president’s clearly trying to do it, and it’s wrong.”
The Republican leader called his relationship with the president in recent weeks “frosty.”
“I have tried all year, with every fiber of my being, to try to get members on both sides of the aisle, try to get the president to get serious about dealing with our debt problem,” he said. “Nobody´s more upset that we couldn´t come to an agreement, the president and I, than I was.”