Boehner to Pelosi: Allow Vote to Extend All Bush Tax Cuts

Posted September 16, 2010 at 10:54am

House Minority Leader John Boehner on Thursday called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to allow an up-or-down vote on extending all of the Bush-era tax cuts while continuing to blast President Barack Obama for proposing more spending.

“The Speaker should pledge to the American people and when she stands before these cameras later today [to allow] an honest up-or-down vote to stop all of the coming tax hikes,” the Ohio Republican said in his weekly press conference. “Anything less than that is unacceptable.”

Last Sunday, Boehner showed some flexibilty over extending those tax cuts. He told CBS’ “Face The Nation” he would vote in favor of extending the tax cuts to the middle class — and not to all income-earners — if that was the only option presented. The cuts are set to expire Dec. 31.

But when asked if Congress should extend the middle-tax cuts enacted during Obama’s presidency, Boehner said he was not familiar with the details.

“I’m not familiar with the specifics there that you mention,” he said. “But I think they are worth looking at.”

Paychecks will shrink in January if Obama’s Making Work Pay tax relief package — which provides $400 for individuals making up to $75,000 and $800 for families making up to $150,000 — expires at the end of the year. Extending the tax cuts would cost the government more than $60 billion.

Boehner also railed against the Obama administration’s proposal to enact $50 billion in infrastructure spending before the end of the year.

“Excessive government spending and the uncertainty facing small businesses are crippling job creation in our country, yet the White House keeps piling it on in both departments,” he said.

Asked if he planned to defund Obama’s health care overhaul, Boehner said he planned to do everything in his power to prevent it from being implemented. “When I say everything, I mean everything,” he said.

But asked later if he envisioned a government shutdown next year in a showdown with the president over federal spending, Boehner said that their goal is smaller government, “not to shut down the government.”

Boehner, who is hoping Nov. 2 will give his party the majority and the Speakership, also said he offered his best wishes yesterday to Rep. Mike Castle, who lost the Delaware Republican Senate primary Tuesday to Christine O’Donnell. “He’s a good guy. I’ve known him a long time,” he said.