In the Washington Post today, the top two Republican congressional leaders write:
Despite what some Democrats in Congress have suggested, voters did not signal they wanted more cooperation on the Democrats’ big-government policies that most Americans oppose. On the contrary, they want both parties to work together on policies that will help create the conditions for private-sector job growth. They want us to stop the spending binge, cut the deficit and send a clear message on taxes and regulations so small businesses can start hiring again.
Republicans got the message voters have been delivering for more than a year. That’s why we made a pledge to America to cut spending, rein in government, and permanently extend the current tax rates so small-business owners won’t get hit with a massive tax hike at the end of December. That’s what Americans want. And that’s the message Republicans will bring to the meeting today. In other words, you’ll have a voice at that table.
We can work together and accomplish these things, but the White House and Democratic leaders in Congress first will have to prioritize. It’s time to choose struggling middle-class families and small businesses over the demands of the liberal base. It’s time to get serious.
While Americans have been asking “where are the jobs?” for more than two years, our friends across the aisle have clung for too long to the liberal wish list, including a job-killing health-care law, a “cap-and-trade” national energy tax and an out-of-control spending spree. The November elections represented a wholesale rejection of these policies.
They go on to pit the White House against the Reid-Pelosi Congress:
Despite the president’s comments about focusing on job creation, Democrats in Congress are working feverishly to move legislation on everything except stopping the tax hikes and lowering spending. Their focus for the brief post-election “lame duck” session is on controversial items such as immigration, a repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” more spending and environmental regulations. Indeed, their actual legislative plan for the rest of the lame-duck session is to focus on anything but jobs.
Time is running out. This Friday, funding for the government runs out. And at the end of December, every single taxpayer will get hit with one of the largest tax hikes in American history – unless we put aside the controversial items and work together on the things we know Americans want and our struggling economy needs.
When the president’s first post-Thanksgiving move was to adopt a Republican idea, it’s going to be hard for him to get by by spending the next few years demonizing John Boehner and making Slurpee jokes. If the Republicans continue with a humble seriousness, making the White House have to get out from behind empty and patronizing rhetoric, not only will political choices be increasingly clear, but who the leaders are will be too.