Boehner: We Can Work With Obama on 'Common Ground'

Wednesday, 05 Oct 2011 12:33 PM

By Martin Gould and Ashley Martella

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In an exclusive interview on Tuesday with Newsmax.TV, House Speaker John Boehner said he and Majority Leader Eric Cantor had written to President Barack Obama last week telling him there are several areas of his jobs bill on which they can work together.

However, Boehner sharply chided Obama for being in "campaign mode" and failing to govern with Congress "to help our country." The speaker also described the president’s Sept. 22 speech at the crumbling Brent Spence Bridge that links his state, Ohio, with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Kentucky over the Ohio River, as nothing more than a "political stunt."

“It was a political stunt, and people looked at it as a political stunt. Even if the money had been approved for the replacement of this bridge, the Cincinnati Inquirer reported that it would still be four or five years away before any job would be created,” Boehner said.

During the exclusive Newsmax interview, the Ohio Republican outlined the GOP platform for compromise with the president, suggesting that Republicans favor avoiding any new tax increases and some infrastructure projects. Boehner laid out the three areas in which he said the White House should be able to find common ground with the GOP-controlled House. They are:

  • Cutting the nation’s massive $14.7 trillion debt burden
  • Making major changes to both the personal and corporate tax codes
  • And curbing the amount of job-killing regulations that pour out of Washington on a daily basis.
“They’ve had nearly three years now to see if their plan works, and clearly their ideas about how to get our economy going again have not worked,” Boehner said. “So I’m hoping the president will listen to Republicans on Capitol Hill and work with us on our jobs agenda.

“It’s about controlling and reducing our debt. It’s about overhauling our tax code, both the corporate code and the personal code, and stopping the regulatory onslaught that’s coming out of Washington, D.C.”

Story continues below video.




The speaker was in a conciliatory mood when he spoke with Newsmax, saying that the letter he and Cantor wrote to Obama had pressed for Democrats to work with Republicans to find solutions.

“Whether it be passing the free trade agreements, which we expect to do as quickly as possible, or in the area of infrastructure there is some common ground,” he said.

“We’ll try to work with the administration on those areas where we think we can work with them.”

Boehner cited two issues that he said are typical of the problems businesses are facing: new regulations to reduce the level of mercury in concrete, which will “make it virtually impossible to manufacture cement in the United States,” and another to restrict the emissions from commercial and domestic boilers, which he contends could threaten 250,000 jobs.

“We’ve sent at least a dozen bills to roll back or delay these onerous regulations that are hampering our economy and killing jobs,” Boehner said. “Here are two regulations that are over the top, that we hope that the Senate will take up and work with us so we are not out there eliminating jobs in America.”

The House is scheduled to tackle both regulations this week. The Office of Budget and Management already has recommended that Obama should veto any bills that attempt to have the regulations overturned.

Boehner said Obama has been in “campaign mode” since Labor Day. “Someone at the press briefing several weeks ago asked the press secretary ‘What happened to governing,’ and Jay Carney looked at the reporter and said, ‘You’re looking in the rear-view mirror,’” he said.

“We’ve got big challenges in America, big challenges that have to be addressed, that require the attention of the president.

“Instead of a lot of rhetoric, it’s time to get down and find the common ground that the American people sent us here to find in order to help our country.”

Boehner said trust between the Republican-led House and the White House has “ebbed,” as he has found it increasingly difficult to pin the president down on his promises. When asked about the possibility of reaching agreement on a “grand bargain” to cut spending, Boehner said Obama suddenly demanded an extra $400 billion in revenue.

“It wasn’t just that they moved the goalposts and wanted more money. I never got the president to a point where he ever said yes to real fundamental change to entitlement programs that are driving the spending machine here in Washington,” he said.
“There are some common sense things that we can do that most people will never notice that will have a dramatic effect on the budget deficit and on our debt. But the president could never get to Yes.

“So over the last couple of months we have to admit, the level of trust between the White House and the Congress has ebbed a bit. But again the American people sent us here to try to find some common ground and it’s that common ground that I’m looking for.”

On healthcare, Boehner predicted that, if the courts or the next election don’t end up overturning Obamacare, it will “fail under its own weight.”

“Obamacare is doomed,” he said. “Obamacare will ruin the best healthcare delivery system in the world and frankly will bankrupt our nation. It has to go and I’m pretty confident that it will go.”

Editor's Note: Also in the Newsmax interview —

Boehner declares that Congress will review the SEC's probe of S&P — Go Here Now.

Boehner vows that Congress 'Will Get to the Bottom' of Fast and Furious — Click Here Now.






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