House Republican leaders met today following the White House meeting with President Obama. Here is a transcript of that press conference. Republican Leader John Boehner (OH), Republican Whip Eric Cantor (VA), Conference Chair Mike Pence (IN), and Rep. Dave Camp (MI) all spoke.
Republican Leader John Boehner
[In progress]…That will make it harder to employ the American people.
Look at the national energy tax. You look at their health care proposal. It's going to raise the cost of employment and make it more difficult for employers to bring people back to work.
We also believe that if we're serious about expanding employment in America, we ought to be doing something about expanding trade. Exports are a big boom to our economy and it can be a bigger boom. We've got pending trade bills that really ought to be considered.
And we also presented a letter to the president outlining some of our tax proposals that will help encourage employers to bring people back to work.
And with that, let me turn it over to Eric Cantor.
Republican Whip Eric Cantor
Good afternoon. We can't keep spending money we don't have. The American people understand that. They're concerned about the consequences of the extraordinary amount of spending going on here in Washington.
So we presented as the leader suggested, a no-cost jobs plan that recommends several steps that we can take together that don't cost anything. They can help get Americans back to work.
The discussions in the meeting, I think, were cordial, more in- depth perhaps than usual. The president said that he would look at some of our proposals. We specifically talked about some of the difficulties that lenders are facing with regulators that seem to be looking at risk in a way that may be over-reactive in terms of true value, if you will. And the Secretary of the Treasury said that he would continue to discuss with us what he's doing on those lines.
I think at the end of the day, though, there is a stark contrast between what the president is proposing and our no-cost jobs plan. In fact, he said that he challenged us to bring in economists to make the case that we ought not be spending right now. We think that we've spent enough. We think that spending money we don't have brings uncertainty and, in fact, small and large businesses have reacted to that and have a whole lot of hesitancy about job creation.
Rep. Dave Camp
Dave Camp from Michigan. It was a good discussion this morning and not only are we hearing about the uncertainty facing small businesses, but what they see coming, the snap back in taxes in 2010, certainly, the regulation that we're seeing the administration suggests and the fact that everything we exhale may be a toxic substance I think strikes most Americans as ludicrous, ludicrous.
So what we're looking at is really a freeze in federal spending, obviously, we need to support our troops. It would be outside of that; finding a way -- no new regulations unless they're directly related to safety. And no tax increases until the unemployment rate comes lower.
So we had specific ideas. We have options that we want to suggest to the president. It was a thoughtful discussion and, hopefully, some of our ideas will be taken up.
Conference Chairman Mike Pence
Mike Pence of Indiana. House Republicans welcome the opportunity to sit down with the president and our colleagues in the House and Senate and discuss how we can get this economy moving again. But after examining the policies of this administration and the Democratic Congress over the last year, it's clear this administration just doesn't get it.
The truth is, the American people know we can't borrow and spend and bail our way back to a growing economy. Yesterday, the president said that we might have to spend our way out of recession. I personally urged the president to emulate what families are doing around kitchen tables in Muncie, Indiana during these difficult economic times. They're cutting back on spending. They're getting a second job and looking for more revenue. And I urged him, along with my colleagues to take the same approach. The American people know what it takes to get this economy moving again and that's fiscal discipline here in Washington, D.C. and fast-acting tax relief for working families, small businesses and family farms.
But we welcomed the opportunity to convey those ideas in detail to the president today and we hope, we hope the president, we hope his administration is listening. Clearly, the approach the Democratic Congress and this administration have taken to this economy have failed. It's time for new ideas and Republicans presented detailed proposals for fiscal discipline and tax relief to the president today.