WASHINGTON, June 8 (UPI) -- The way to create jobs is to extend the Bush-era tax cuts, House Speaker John Boehner said Friday, responding to President Obama's remarks on the U.S. economy.
"We're going to vote next month on extending all of the current tax rates, and the president should assure the nation that when this bill gets to his desk he'll sign it into law," Boehner said during a news conference.
The president called on Congress to pass a legislative package he said would create jobs and provide tax incentives for small businesses to hire more workers. The package, proposed last year, also would make it easier for homeowners who are up-to-date on their mortgage payments to refinance at lower interest rates.
Obama wants to extend the tax rates passed during the George W. Bush presidency for the middle class, while allowing the Bush tax rates for wealthy taxpayers expire.
He also said passing his jobs package would help the United States guard against the rippling effect of Europe's financial crisis.
"Stopping the looming tax hikes will help job creators because they'll have more certainty about what the tax rates are going to be and help create a better environment for them to create jobs," Boehner, R-Ohio, said.
Majority Leader Eric Cantor said it was time Obama stopped playing the blame game.
"It's not because of the headwinds of Europe," Cantor, R-Va., said. "It's not -- despite his attempt and his party's attempts here in Congress -- it is not because of House Republicans. It's because of the failed stimulus policies and other items in his agenda that small businesses in this country just aren't growing."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi jabbed at Boehner for "jeopardizing confidence in the economy" by failing to act.
"By raising the prospect of temporary fixes, the Republican leader has again kicked the can down the road on the bipartisan transportation bill, threatening to push the economy over a cliff with another 6-month delay," Pelosi said.
The Republican leadership's message is clear, Pelosi, D-Calif., said.
"[They] have no intention of creating jobs," she said. "Their only plan is inaction, obstruction, and delay that weakens consumer confidence, causes uncertainty, and jeopardizes our recovery."