Boehner To Obama: Don’t Hold Entitlement Cuts ‘Hostage’ To Tax Hikes

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) responded Friday to reports that President Obama’s upcoming budget proposal will include cuts to Social Security and Medicare, which the president has floated in prior discussions.

“If the president believes these modest entitlement savings are needed to help shore up these programs,” Boehner said, “there’s no reason they should be held hostage for more tax hikes.”

The Speaker’s full statement:

“The president and I were not able to reach an agreement late last year because his offers never lived up to his rhetoric. Despite talk about so-called balance, the president’s last offer was significantly skewed in favor of higher taxes and included only modest entitlement savings. He said he could go no further toward the middle, and that’s why his last offer was rejected.  In the end, the president got his tax hikes on the wealthy with no corresponding spending cuts. At some point we need to solve our spending problem, and what the president has offered would leave us with a budget that never balances.  In reality, he’s moved in the wrong direction, routinely taking off the table entitlement reforms he’s previously told me he could support.

“When the president visited the Capitol last month, House Republicans stated a desire to find common ground and urged him not to make savings we agree upon conditional on another round of tax increases. If reports are accurate, the president has not heeded that call. If the president believes these modest entitlement savings are needed to help shore up these programs, there’s no reason they should be held hostage for more tax hikes. That’s no way to lead and move the country forward.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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