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NEA President: Speaker Boehner’s counter plan is misguided and unbalanced

Van Roekel calls on Speaker Boehner to join growing chorus calling for balanced approach

WASHINGTON - December 03, 2012 -

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today sent President Barack Obama a counteroffer outlining the Republican party’s attempt to get the nation’s fiscal house in order and avoid pushing the nation’s economy over the so-called “fiscal cliff.”

The following statement can be attributed to National Education Association (NEA) President Dennis Van Roekel:

“Speaker Boehner and the Republican leadership produced a plan for the sake of checking the box. The so-called ‘counterproposal’ is misguided and unbalanced and, if allowed to go into effect, would cause tremendous, irreversible harm to our nation’s seniors, children and our 50 million students.

“Unfortunately, Speaker Boehner and the Republican leadership insist on doing more of the same, kicking the can down the road on revenues and on closing unspecified tax loopholes and deductions while completely ignoring the billions of dollars in painful budget cuts that have already taken place. This is not a plan for compromise or for creating jobs and moving America forward.

“In tough economic times, we have to resist the urge to get our nation’s fiscal house in order on the backs of low and middle-class families. As educators, we know firsthand the impact of budget cuts on middle class families—and we know some cuts never heal. We simply can’t afford to preserve tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent by cutting funding for special education, low-income students, children and senior citizens. Instead of sticking everyday Americans with the nation’s debt, Speaker Boehner needs to make sure the wealthiest two percent pay their fair share.

“As opposed to offering check-the-box counterproposals, Speaker Boehner and the Republican leadership should join the growing chorus of Americans calling for a balanced approach to protecting what’s important to working Americans: education, jobs, Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.

“We will continue to vigilantly watch this process to call out any proposal that claims to be balanced but in fact exacerbates the inequity in our economy and society.”

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The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Miguel A. Gonzalez  (202) 822-7823,