ABC News’ John R. Parkinson reports:
House Republican Leader John Boehner says he will push for a full extension of the Bush-era tax cuts when he and other top congressional leaders meet with President Obama at the White House next week.
Boehner told reporters today that making the tax cuts permanent, not settling for a temporary extension, will “help end the uncertainty that’s stopping employers from hiring more people.”
“I think expanding all of the current tax rates and making them permanent will reduce the uncertainty in America and help small businesses begin to create jobs again,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said. “You can’t invest when you don’t know what the rules are, when you don’t know what the tax rates are going to be next year. And that’s why making these permanent will be the most important thing we could do to help create jobs in the country.”
Boehner, the next presumptive Speaker of the House, will be joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at the bipartisan meeting next Thursday, Nov. 18.
Boehner said that House Republicans will work through the transition to come up with ways to reduce spending to pre-bailout, pre-stimulus levels. He also said that Congress should put a freeze on new hiring and pay for federal employees.
“We’ve got to fix the Congress so that the Congress can focus in on Americans’ priorities. And their priorities are pretty straightforward. That’s the Pledge to America,” Boehner said. “When you look at our plans to reduce spending, to get the economy going again, and to repeal the health care law that, frankly, gets in the way of job creation, you can see that we’ve got an awful lot of work to do.”
“[The House] needs to be more open. It needs to be more transparent. And it needs to be more accountable. And you will see from day one that I say what I mean and I mean what I say,” Boehner added.
Rep. Greg Walden, R-Oregon, who Boehner tasked with chairing a 22-member GOP Transition Team, said the members worked this week to devise ideas to make the House of Representatives “more open, more accessible to the public.”
“Remember, this is the public’s business that we’re doing. How do we open it up? How do we make it more accessible? How do we bring the public in? How do we return this government back to the people? How do we reform this process? How do we get at the cost savings we all know can be achieved here? How do we improve the efficiencies?” Walden asked. “How do we do the things that you would reform if you were in charge? So let’s start and build a House that works for the people, because this is the people’s House.”
Walden said that the committee’s goal is to “create the atmosphere where we can have legitimate brainstorming, where we can really look at these issues and resolve them in a really positive way,” but not every idea will be implemented in the next session of Congress.
Boehner also revealed that as Speaker of the House, he will continue to travel to his West Chester, Ohio district on commercial aircraft, rather than using a military government plane like Speaker Pelosi sometimes uses to travel back to California.
“I have talked to our security folks about the security that’s involved in my new role [as Speaker],” Boehner said. “But over the last 20 years, I have flown back and forth to my district on commercial aircraft, and I’m going to continue to do that.”