September 14, 2010

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
The United States House of Representatives
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Speaker Pelosi,

Yesterday the Republican members of the House Rules Committee sent a letter to Chairwoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) requesting an open and fair debate when the House considers legislation to extend tax relief for all Americans.  I write today on behalf of our entire Conference to formally endorse this request, which is of particular importance as it becomes evident that a bipartisan majority in the House is in agreement with the American people that all of President Obama’s coming tax hikes should be stopped.  And I reaffirm Republicans’ readiness to work with Democrats this month to enact legislation this month that will cut spending and freeze the tax code for the next two years to give our economy a chance to get back to creating jobs.

As you, Chairwoman Slaughter and other members of the Democratic leadership consider the debate and expected vote on President Obama’s scheduled tax hikes, I urge you to be mindful of the outrage that was triggered among the American public earlier this year when the Majority sought to structure the vote on President Obama’s health care overhaul in a manner that was obviously meant to circumvent the will of the American people and prevent the full House from working its will on certain critical amendments.

With our economy struggling to create jobs, the American people will not tolerate such maneuvers on the question of tax hikes.  Using the suspension process – which requires a two-third vote in the House to pass legislation instead of a simple majority vote – as the vehicle for a vote on legislation that would stop President Obama’s tax hike on all tax-paying Americans would be an obvious attempt to circumvent the will of the House by denying Republican and many Democratic members their right to offer an alternative proposal.  Such a transparently political tactic would be certain to bring further discredit upon our institution at a time when Americans’ distrust of Congress is at an historic level, and would send the clear message to the people that President Obama and the leaders of the Democratic-controlled Congress are more committed to partisan campaigns to preserve your power than to helping our economy create jobs for our constituents.

The two biggest obstacles to private-sector job creation in America are excessive spending by government and the job-killing uncertainty being faced by small businesses as they confront the looming threat of a major tax hike on January 1, 2011.  It is imperative that Democrats and Republicans come together this month to pass legislation before Congress adjourns for the fall that takes aggressive action on both problems.  House Republicans have set forth a plan for bipartisan action that would cut non-security discretionary spending to 2008 levels – the last year before the wave of “stimulus” spending sprees, bailouts, and takeovers – for the next year, and stop all of the coming tax hikes by freezing all tax rates at their current levels for the next two years.  Yesterday, the senior Republicans on the three committees with jurisdiction over such legislation wrote to their counterparts requesting that talks begin immediately with the goal of sending a final bill to the president before Congress leaves town this fall.  The opportunity lies before us.  The work must begin now.

If President Obama and the Congress are truly focused on jobs, we should take action immediately – together, in a bipartisan way – to aggressively reduce spending and stop all of the coming tax hikes.  Until this has been accomplished, the White House and Congress are not focusing on jobs.  And without an open and free-flowing debate on the question of the coming tax hikes, the American people will continue to view this Congress rightly as a major obstacle to job creation in America.


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