House Minority Leader John Boehner dipped into the politically charged debate over extending tax cuts enacted during the George W. Bush administration, demanding they be extended for wealthy Americans but refusing to discuss how to cover the cost.
You cant raise taxes in the middle of a weak economy without risking a double dip in the recession, the Ohio Republican said on NBCs Meet the Press.
When pressed on how to offset the cost of extending the popular tax cuts to those making more than $250,000 annually, Boehner said, You cannot get the economy going again with raising taxes on those we count on to get it going again.
Boehner went on to blast the job-killing agenda of President Barack Obama and his allies in Congress.
They really do have employers scared to death, he said.
Boehner added that House Republicans would lay out an agenda after the August recess that reflects the sentiment of constituents back home. He maintained that the economy is a winning issue for his party in the midterm elections, in which Boehner said 94 Democratic-held seats are in play.
I continue to believe it is a challenge to take back the House, but we have more candidates than weve ever had, he said. But we want to earn back the majority.
Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) acknowledged that the midterms are going to be a tough slog for Democrats, who face voters harboring a lot of anger ... a lot of anxiety.
The question is, do people want to go back to the Bush kind of policies, which, of course, started this whole recession to begin with? Or do they feel a sense of progress and momentum and that things have turned around you know, turned the corner? the two-term governor said on CNNs State of the Union. Were on an upswing. Yeah, were not there as fast as wed like, but if you revert to the old policies, then youll be heading downhill very quickly.
Granholm, a key White House ally who welcomed the president to her state earlier this week, said she was grateful for the federal governments assistance to suffering states. She particularly noted the $26.1 billion education and Medicaid funding measure passed last week by the Senate. House Members will take up that bill this week during a brief interruption to their August break.
There is no doubt that this has been critically important money as we have tried to make our way out of this recession, she said.
But Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) said such spending measures are more hurtful than helpful.
Well, I think it has to end soon because the federal government is running out of money, he said on State of the Union. Its an unsustainable pattern of spending. We have to live within our means.
McDonnell did say the federal government should offer assistance for border security, an issue that has bubbled up in recent weeks as Republicans look to rally their base on the contentious matter.
Theres a provision that allows Virginia law enforcement officers to be trained as [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] agents, to be able to assist with the immigration enforcement, he said. Theyre not funded enough. Theyre not staffed enough, so we want to use federal law to be able to have state troopers do it.
Granholm responded, Any time a Republican governor is going to Washington asking for more resources, I think thats an interesting thing.