Speaker of the House John Boehner gave this statement at a press conference about the sequester, on February 28, 2013.
On the Speaker's Message at the White House Tomorrow:
"I think the spending problem that we have here in Washington is threatening the future of our kids and our grandkids, and frankly threatening the American Dream.
"Republicans have offered solutions to promote economic growth and address our long-term debt crisis, and we will again as part of our upcoming budget deal with these issues in an open and honest way. In contrast, President Obama and Senate Democrats are demanding more tax hikes to fuel more 'stimulus' spending.
"Listen, Republicans have voted twice to replace the president's sequester with smarter spending cuts and reforms. But the president and Democrat leaders have failed to pass a solution of their own. It's time that they do.
"My message at the White House will be the same as what I'm telling you today: It's time for them to do their job and to pass a bill."
On Washington's Spending Problem Hurting American Families & Small Businesses:
"Americans know that Washington has a spending problem. It's hurting families, it's hurting small businesses, and it must be addressed.
"There are many people in Washington though who … don't believe that government has a spending problem. You've got the Minority Leader and the Minority Whip who don't believe that we've got a spending problem. The president told me directly back in December we don't have a spending problem.
"In the nearly four years since Senate Democrats last passed a budget, government spending has driven our national debt to over $16 trillion. That's more than $52,000 for every man, woman, and child in our country. And I don't believe the debt is the result of insufficient taxation. This year the federal government will bring in revenue more money in from the taxpayers than any year in our history. And the debt is a result, I believe, of spending that's out of control."
On Pro-Growth Tax Reform that Lowers Rates & Helps Create Jobs:
"This week we announced that H.R. 1 will be reserved for tax reform legislation. Tax reform that lowers rates, closes loopholes, will help create more American jobs and promote more economic growth in our country.
"The president talks about closing loopholes, but only as a solution to fund more government spending. Do we want to close loopholes? We sure do. But if we're going to do tax reform, it should focus on creating jobs, not funding more government.
"Last year we proposed generating new revenue through tax reform. We did that as an alternative to the president's demand for higher tax rates. Ultimately, the president got his revenues and he got it his way – through higher rates. Given those facts, the revenue issue is now closed.
"Any revenue generated by closing loopholes should be used to lower rates across the board for American families. That will create jobs and make America more competitive.
"So the choice is simple: should tax reform focus more on funding government or on creating jobs? I'm for more jobs."