DeMint slams Boehner counteroffer

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) criticized Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio.) $2.2 trillion counteroffer to the White House's deficit-reduction proposal, arguing it would kill American jobs and let lawmakers spend more money.

"Speaker Boehner's $800 billion tax hike will destroy American jobs and allow politicians in Washington to spend even more, while not reducing our $16 trillion debt by a single penny,” DeMint said in a statement on Tuesday.

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The statement from the conservative firebrand comes less than a day after Boehner and House Republican leaders including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and others offered a $2.2 trillion deficit-reduction counteroffer to the proposal introduced by President Obama. The 10-year plan includes $800 billion in new tax revenue. Republicans say the plan offers more than a sufficient amount of deficit reduction while not raising taxes.

DeMint goes on to say that lawmakers can avoid the upcoming "fiscal cliff" spending cuts and tax increases by extending the Bush-era tax rates for incomes at all levels, including the wealthiest 2 percent. Obama and Democrats have called for extending the rates for income up to $250,000 a year.

"Big government is the cause of our debt crisis, not the solution. Washington has a spending addiction that is shackling our children and grandchildren with unsustainable debt," DeMint continues in the statement. "[I]f neither party leadership is going to put forward a serious plan to balance the budget and pay down the debt, we should end this charade. We can stop the fiscal cliff with the bill that House Republicans already passed that simply extends the current tax rates and replaces the defense cuts with reductions in wasteful spending.”