John Boehner attempts to prebut President Obama’s early-afternoon speech on the economy:
Standing in his office in front of copies of what appear to be at least 24 of the roughly 30 jobs and economic-themed legislation passed by the GOP-controlled House in recent weeks, Boehner says the bills “aren’t big, controversial bills that no one has read — they’re practical, common-sense proposals to help small businesses create jobs and build a stronger economy for all Americans.”
“This isn’t just our work — it’s our work in progress,” he adds. “You see, we’re going to keep adding to this pile, and we’re going to keep calling on President Obama and Senate Democrats to give these jobs bills a vote.”
“We’re going to keep adding to this pile” has to go down as one of the most unintentionally funny lines John Boehner has uttered, but let’s take him seriously for a second and explore what exactly is in that pile. In the video, he tells viewers to explore the list of bills on his website, and if you go there, you’ll find 42 resolutions and pieces of legislation that congressional Republicans say are focused on creating jobs.
The first thing you’ll notice is that not everything on their list has been blocked. In fact, 12 items on it have actually been adopted or signed into law. They even take credit for initiatives that were actually proposed by the president, including the extension of payroll tax cuts through 2012.
But there are indeed 30 items in the “pile” that haven’t gone past the House. These really aren’t jobs bills, however. For example, one of the bills is the “Land in Accomack County, Virginia” act. Another is the “Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act.” And there’s a whole slew of bills designed to weaken regulations in general and of specific sectors of the economy, like the cement industry. About the only thing that most Americans might conceivably think could boost jobs are measures related to energy development, but with oil production at record highs, even those items aren’t convincing.
Boehner’s “pile” even includes the Ryan budget resolutions of 2011 and 2012, each of which call for ending Medicare as we know it. How that would create jobs is anybody’s guess. And even though Boehner says he got 98 percent of what he wanted in the debt ceiling deal, it lists the Cut, Cap, and Balance bill which would have dramatically cut government spending, almost certainly sending us into another recession. So you could say it was a jobs bill … in that it would have killed jobs.
If you think about it, Boehner really couldn’t have done much more to help President Obama drive home the point that Republicans aren’t serious about jobs. They’re only serious about pursuing their rigid ideological agenda. They might say that proposing to end Medicare is a job creation measure, but it’s not—and nobody will believe that it is, no matter how deep John Boehner’s pile gets.
(Note: President Obama’s speech today will be delivered at 1:45 ET before a crowd of about 1,000 at Cuyahoga Community College in northeastern Ohio. He will contrast his economic vision with that of Mitt Romney and the Republican Party. Romney will also address the economy with a speech of his own in Cincinnati, also set for early afternoon. We’ll be covering Obama’s speech as it happens.)