Boehner: Obama economic push a 'big set-up' for higher taxes

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) panned President Obama’s newfound focus on the economy, saying his scheduled series of speeches this week were merely a “big set-up” for a push for higher taxes.

The Speaker and other House Republican leaders mocked Obama for giving more economic speeches while he ignored House-passed legislation aimed at boosting job growth.

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“If the president were serious about helping our economy, he wouldn’t give another speech. He’d reach out and actually work with us,” Boehner said after a meeting of the Republican conference.

Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Obama was making “his umpteenth pivot” back to jobs and the economy.

“I say to the president, you know what? Actions speak louder than words,” Cantor said.

The GOP leaders cited House legislation to approve the Keystone oil sands pipeline, reduce regulations and delay implementation of the 2010 healthcare law as proposals opposed by the White House that would help the economy.

In an address Wednesday at Knox College in Illinois, Obama is expected to take credit for an economy that has improved modestly over the last year. While the speech is not expected to include a new policy agenda, it comes as Washington prepares for fall battles over a potential government shutdown and a need to raise the debt ceiling.

“This is all about a big set-up coming in this speech,” Boehner said. “The president wants to raise taxes so he can do more stimulus spending. The fact is, if we’re going to get rid of his sequester, we’re going to have to look for smarter spending cuts in order to do that.”

The Speaker reiterated that Republicans would not simply lift the debt ceiling without concessions from Democrats.

“We’re not going to raise the debt ceiling without real cuts in spending. It’s as simple as that,” Boehner said.