Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered the following remarks today in advance of the White House meeting tomorrow between President Obama and Congressional Leadership on the fiscal cliff:
“As you all know, last week we had an election, the American people spoke very clearly about our wish for us to reach an agreement to create jobs, grow our economy, and reduce our deficit in a balanced way. Now we have an opportunity. This is opportunity time for us, and for the American people, to demonstrate to all Americans that we are here to get the job done. That starts with our effort to ensure the economic security of the middle class, restore certainty for our small businesses, and spur growth in our economy as we reduce the deficit.
“Tomorrow, as the bipartisan leadership of Congress comes to the table at the White House with President Obama, we must act in a bipartisan, responsible way to address our fiscal challenges and to strengthen our economy to create jobs without further delay. President Obama has called for a balanced approach and House Democrats support that and have long supported a grand bargain.
“As our negotiations move forward, Democrats continue to back an agreement that is grand in scope, that increases revenues by asking the wealthiest to pay their fair share, and that makes responsible cuts. Any agreement must ensure economic growth that creates jobs, injecting demand into markets, and bringing in even more revenue. Any approach must take into account the $1.5 trillion in spending cuts already enacted through the Budget Control Act, though not included in the sequester that needs to be lifted, while pursuing a path that upholds our priorities and support the middle class. House Republicans can prove that they’re prepared to work in good faith on the fiscal crisis facing our country by calling up a vote to extend the middle income tax cuts now – a tax cut that will give 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small business owners more certainty heading into the holiday season. The Senate has already passed this legislation, House Democrats are ready to vote on it. We must not hold middle class tax cuts hostage to tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans or drastic cuts that threaten our economy.
“As the President rightly noted yesterday, we can take this step now and have it on his desk by next week. House Democrats will act as partners in an effort to reach an agreement. Again the President said – we’ve heard the voices – we all agree with the President, we’ve heard the voices of the American people, we’ve heard from CEOs and business leaders, we’ve heard from our friends representing America’s working families and labor calling on both parties to sit down and make necessary changes. We stand ready to answer the call. The President said: ‘both parties can work together to make these decisions in a balanced way, and responsible way.’ And he added: ‘there’s only one way to solve these challenges and that is to do it together.’ We will work with our President, with our colleagues in the Senate, and with our colleagues across the aisle to get the job done.”“Tomorrow, as the bipartisan leadership of Congress comes to the table at the White House with President Obama, we must act in a bipartisan, responsible way to address our fiscal challenges and to strengthen our economy to create jobs without further delay. President Obama has called for a balanced approach and House Democrats support that and have long supported a grand bargain.