Tags: fiscal | cliff | taxes | west

Allen West: House Has Finished Its Work on Fiscal Cliff

Friday, 21 Dec 2012 11:24 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Florida Rep. Allen West is suggesting the House is no longer a player in the fiscal cliff negotiations following the rejection by Republicans of Speaker John Boehner's "Plan B" tax bill, which was aimed at forcing the president into a larger deficit reduction deal.
 
The Republican caucus, according to some political observers, is now in chaos and unable to agree among themselves on anything.
 
But West insisted in an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity Thursday night that Republicans did the right thing in refusing to go along with Boehner's plan to increase the tax rate on the affluent even though it would have protected the current rates for most Americans.

Alert: Will Boehner, Obama Avoid the Fiscal Cliff? Vote Here

"I think that the speaker tried to exhaust every avenue of approach that he could," said West. "He tried to, you know, in good faith, negotiate with the president. We saw that that was not going anywhere.
 
"But I think at the end of the day, we have to be able to draw that contrast between who we are as constitutional conservatives and who the president is as a liberal progressive that really believes this is about more revenue, more taxing of the American people," he added.
 
West, who lost his bid for re-election and leaves Congress at the end of year, said it's now up to the president to negotiate with his own party in the Senate to work out a deal that averts the so-called fiscal cliff year-end deadline, when automatic spending cuts and tax increases will be triggered.
 
"We have to start looking to [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid, and also President Barack Obama, and they have to own this economy," West said. "They have to own the debt, the deficit, the failures that we have seen over the past four years, and we can't keep looking over here to us.
 
"We have done regular order. We passed legislation and good policy, and now the ball is in their court," he added, referring to spending and tax cut extension bills passed in the House earlier this year but have not been taken up the Democratic-controlled Senate.
 
Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who was interviewed along with West, agreed with her colleague that House Republicans have already done their work on moving to avert the fiscal cliff.
 
"Allen's exactly right. We passed the tax extender bill. We passed the sequestration bill to take care of those [automatic spending cut] issues," Blackburn said, adding that "Harry Reid made a choice not to take those bills up and try to push this to a crisis."

Alert: Will Boehner, Obama Avoid the Fiscal Cliff? Vote Here

She said Boehner did "the right thing" by pulling his Plan B bill before a scheduled vote that would have failed.
 
"The time has come where you can no longer spend more. You have to make certain you're taxing less and spending less," Blackburn said, stating the view of many GOP conservatives who oppose tax increases of any kind. 

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