[Congressional Record Volume 158, Number 159 (Tuesday, December 11, 2012)]
[Page H6681]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                          FISCAL CLIFF UPDATE

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. LaTourette). The Chair recognizes the 
gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Boehner) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. BOEHNER. Mr. Speaker, last week, Republicans made a serious offer 
to avert the fiscal cliff, and most of it was based on testimony given 
last year by President Clinton's former Chief of Staff, Erskine Bowles. 
As Mr. Bowles himself said on Sunday: ``We have to cut spending.'' 
Well, he's right. Washington has a spending problem. Let's be honest: 
we're broke. The plan that we have offered is consistent with the 
President's call for a ``balanced approach.''
  A lot of people know that the President and I met on Sunday. It was a 
nice meeting, it was cordial; but we're still waiting for the White 
House to identify what spending cuts the President is willing to make 
as part of the ``balanced approach'' that he promised the American 
people. Where are the President's spending cuts? The longer the White 
House slow-walks this process, the closer our economy gets to the 
fiscal cliff.
  But here's what we do know: we know that the President wants more 
stimulus spending and an increase in the debt limit without any cuts or 
reforms. That's not fixing our problem. Frankly, it's making it worse. 
On top of that, the President wants to raise tax rates on many small 
business owners. Now, even if we did exactly what the President wants, 
we would see red ink for as far as the eye can see. That's not fixing 
our problem either; it's making it worse and it's hurting our economy.
  I think the Members know that I'm an optimist. I'm hopeful that we 
can reach an agreement. This is a serious issue, and there's a lot at 
stake. The American people sent us here to work together towards the 
best possible solution, and that means cutting spending.
  Now, if the President doesn't agree with our approach, he's got an 
obligation to put forward a plan that can pass both Chambers of 
Congress. Because right now the American people have to be scratching 
their heads and wondering: When is the President going to get serious?