ABC News' John R. Parkinson reports:
Speaker-designate John Boehner called a vote planned later this afternoon on a permanent extension of a middle class tax cuts package “chicken crap” and criticized Democrats for playing political games nearly two years from the next election.
“[I am] trying to catch my breath so I don’t refer to this maneuver going on today as a chicken crap, all right?” Boehner said. “But this is nonsense. The election was one month ago. We’re 23 months from the next election and the political games have already started trying to set up the next election.”
Just days after the top leaders in the House and Senate met Tuesday with President Obama at the White House, Boehner said he hoped that the vote later today would not undercut the progress of negotiations emerging from the tax cut working group that was a product of the bipartisan meeting.
“We had an honest conversation at the White House about the challenges that we faced to get out of here, and to take care of what the American people expect of us. And to roll this vote out today, it really is just -- it’s what you think I was going to say anyway,” Boehner said. “I think there are substantive conversations going on with the administration to stop all the tax hikes and to cut spending, and I’m hopeful that those conversations will continue.”
Boehner, R-Ohio, added that the vote to permanently extend tax cuts for individuals making up to $200,000 and couples earning up to $250,000 is essentially a vote to raise taxes on small businesses and American families. Boehner pledged that if the Lame Duck Congress does not cut spending and extend all of the Bush-era tax cuts set to expire at the end of the year, one of the priorities of the new Republican majority in the next session of Congress will be to pass an extension.
“The last thing our economy needs right now is a job-killing tax hike, and that’s what this plan of theirs would mean. I think it’s pretty clear to get the economy going again and create jobs, we need to cut spending and stop all of the coming tax hikes,” Boehner said. “This is something that even President Obama and Democrat leaders at the White House acknowledged. The Congress ought to act today to stop all the tax hikes, to cut spending because it would reduce the uncertainty that’s affecting employers all across our country.”
Later this afternoon, the House is also expected to consider a resolution censuring Rep. Charles Rangel, D-New York.
Boehner also said that despite some problems the ethics committee has over the past ten years, the ethics committee works for the benefit of the American people, and both Democrats and Republicans should support its recommendation for censure.
“I think it’s important for the House to support the bipartisan work of the ethics committee,” Boehner said. “The American people have every right to expect the highest ethical standards from members of Congress. And this committee has gone through two years of real work and they’ve made a recommendation to the House and I think it’s important for members on both sides of the aisle to support the work of the committee.”