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Boehner: We Will Not ‘Punt’ on Entitlements

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Speaker John Boehner pledged Tuesday that House Republicans would tackle reforms to Social Security and Medicare in their annual budget proposal and not “punt” on entitlements as the GOP has accused President Barack Obama of doing.

“Republicans will not punt,” the Ohio Republican told reporters. “Everything is on the table. We will put forward a budget that deals with the big challenges that face our country.”

Pressed on whether that would include cuts to Social Security and Medicare, Boehner said he would defer to Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) but said he had “no doubt that all of these issues would be on the table.”

House and Senate Republicans have roundly criticized Obama for bypassing the nation’s fast-growing entitlements in his $3.7 trillion fiscal 2012 budget blueprint, which was released Monday.

“The biggest danger to our county is if we do not act,” Boehner said. “The status quo is shackling the future for our kids and grandkids. That’s why we have to act, and I believe we can act in a responsible way to make sure that those entitlement programs that we have are sustainable for our parents and theirs and affordable for our kids and our grandkids.”

As soon as next month, House Republicans are expected to release their own budget document.

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