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Democrats say Boehner speech will offer nothing new

From NBC's Ali Weinberg
He hasn't spoken yet, but Democrats are already criticizing House Republican leader John Boehner (R-OH) as offering "more of the same" in a speech on the economy to be delivered tomorrow.

In anticipation of Rep. Boehner's scheduled address at the City Club of Cleveland, DNC Vice Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz said she expected Boehner to reiterate his desire, and, by association, that of all Congressional Republicans, to return to President George W. Bush's fiscal policies, including his failed effort to privatize Social Security and an extension of his tax cuts for the top 1% of earners that are set to expire at the end of 2010.

"John Boehner has been consistent in that he has not abandoned the previous agenda that got us into the ditch in the frstplace," Wasserman-Schultz told reporters on a conference call.

Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern, who joined Wasserman-Schultz on the call, also stuck to the Democratic campaign script, accusing Republicans of wanting to regain legislative control after being voted out in 2006 and then mounting near-unanimous opposition to all of President Obama's major initiatives.

Redfern said Republicans are "stopping President Obama and Democrats from cleaning up the mess they created, and going back to the same policies that got us into this mess to begin with."

When asked specifically about whether Democrats will allow all Bush tax cuts to expire, Wasserman-Schultz said no decisions have been made on the substance or timing of a tax cut announcement.

"Certainly the majority of Democrats are supportive of making sure that if we're reenacting any of those tax cuts it would be for the middle class and working families," she said, adding that there were a variety of opinions on whether to address the tax cuts right away, but that "in terms of timing it's not decided upon."

Responding to the Democrats' pre-buttal of Boehner's speech, Kevin Smith, a spokesman for the Minority Leader, accused Democrats of ignoring proposals put forth in a Republican economic plan available online.

On tomorrow's speech, he wrote that Boehner "will outline common-sense solutions to end the ongoing economic uncertainty, boost small business job creation, and end the spending spree in Washington. Instead of spreading distortions, Democrats should be working with Republicans to support policies that will support true job creation and end the spending spree in Washington.”