Word on the Hill

by Robert Costa

A GOP House aide with knowledge of summit happenings tells NRO that Speaker-designate John Boehner “made clear that Republicans have heard the message from the American people that we must focus on creating jobs and cutting spending.”

“According to Speaker Pelosi, this is the message that she heard as well, so there was bipartisan agreement that cutting spending and creating jobs should be our priorities,” the aide relates. “This is a different message than she’s been talking about publicly. With Democrats still controlling Congress, Boehner encouraged them to put other distractions aside and get work done on those priorities.”

“As Boehner has said, he’s willing to work with anyone who wants to find solutions create jobs, so he agreed to a proposal from the president to convene a working group to address the unresolved looming tax hikes,” the aide explained. “Rep. Dave Camp, the ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee, would be his designee for these discussions. At the same time, he believes this is no substitute for immediate action to cut spending and stop the coming tax hikes — for all taxpayers.”

“In regard to spending, President Obama suggested we must always consider three levels of our fiscal challenges: the short term, medium term, and long term. Unfortunately, the president, as well as Democratic leaders, suggested we put off any serious effort at spending cuts for a number of years. As Speaker Pelosi colorfully put it, ‘Apples, oranges, and bananas don’t mate.’ Republican leaders made clear we can address these issues right away — and the American people are expecting us to.”

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