WASHINGTON — House Republicans will launch their own fiscal cliff roadshow to counter President Barack Obama’s efforts to rally the public before the year-end spending and taxing deadline — even as members of their own party are criticizing Obama’s public relations campaign.
House Republican lawmakers will hold events and visit local small businesses “to emphasize the threat to jobs posed by Congressional Democrats’ small business tax hike,” a GOP leadership aide said Tuesday.
“Republicans understand that we must avert the fiscal cliff and have laid out a framework to do so that is consistent with the ‘balanced’ approach the President says he wants,” said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Speaker of the House John Boehner in response to the White House’s announcement that Obama will be traveling to Pennsylvania on Friday to push his solution to the fiscal cliff. “In contrast, Democrats in Congress have downplayed the danger of going over the cliff and continue to rule out sensible spending cuts that must be part of any significant agreement to reduce the deficit. The target of the president’s rallies should be the congressional Democrats who want to raise tax rates on small businesses rather than cut spending.”
Republican lawmakers will be briefed on messaging this week to take back to their districts, according to a leadership aide, and they will be “aided by a coalition representing American small businesses.”
Obama is set to tour and make remarks at The Rodon Group manufacturing facility in Hatfield, PA on Friday — a facility that makes plastic toys and parts.
But not all Republicans appear comfortable with the notion of hitting the road during the fiscal cliff talks.
Earlier Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attacked Obama for hitting the campaign trail, instead of sitting down with lawmakers.
“So it was with some concern that I read this morning that the President plans to hit the road this week to drum up support for his own personal approach to the short and long-term fiscal challenges we face,” he said on the Senate floor. “In other words, rather than sitting down with lawmakers of both parties and working out an agreement, he’s back out on the campaign trail, presumably with the same old talking points we’re all familiar with. Look: we already know the President is a very good campaigner. What we don’t know is whether he has the leadership qualities necessary to lead his party to a bipartisan agreement on a big issue likes this. So let me suggest that if the President wants a solution to the challenges of the moment, the people he needs to be talking to are the members of his own party, so he can convince them of the need to act.”