GOP House speaker pledges to work with Obama to avert fiscal cliff
In his first press conference after the presidential elections, House Speaker John Boehner has pledged his commitment to forging a bipartisan solution to the nation's economic woes.
He even offered the possibility of new revenues, though he stressed that the GOP-led House of Representatives would not approve of tax hikes.
Boehner, who congratulated President Barack Obama on his victory acknowledging that he had 'hoped the presidential election would turn out differently', said that Republicans are ready to work with the president to avoid going over the so-called 'fiscal cliff', which he argued would cost the nation's economy hundreds of thousands of jobs.
"The American people this week didn't give us a mandate to do the 'simple' thing. They elected us to lead. They gave us a mandate to work together to do the best thing for our country," Boehner said.
"Just weeks away now looms the so-called fiscal cliff, a combination of automatic spending cuts and tax increases mandated by law. Within months of the fiscal cliff, Congress will be asked to raise the nation's debt ceiling," he said.
"Around the same time, legislation will be needed to keep the government running, as the continuing resolution under which it is currently operating expires. Amid all of these short-term hurdles, we face the greatest challenge of all: a massive debt that is smothering growth, exceeding the size of our entire economy," CBS News quoted Boehner, as saying.
According to the report, the House Speaker shunned the idea of employing 'short-term, temporary policies' to delay a comprehensive solution to the fiscal cliff, arguing instead that Americans elected Obama, as well as House Republicans, to "to do the best thing for our country."
"We know what the best thing would be. It would be an agreement that sends the signal to our economy, and to the world, that after years of punting on the major fiscal challenges we face, 2013 is going to be different," he said.
"What we can do is avert the cliff in a manner that serves as a down payment on - and a catalyst for - major solutions, enacted in 2013, that begin to solve the problem," he added.
He emphasized, however, as he has done before, that 'feeding the growth of government through higher tax rates won't help us solve the problem', the report added.