House Republican leaders criticized President Obama’s “umpteenth pivot” back to the issue of jobs, warning that he’ll use the economy as an excuse for higher taxes and more stimulus spending.
Obama travels to Galesburg, Ill., and Warrensburg, Mo., tomorrow for events on the economy. He has another event Thursday afternoon in Jacksonville, Fla., after welcoming Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang to the White House.
“You know, if the president was serious about helping our economy he wouldn’t give another speech, he’d reach out and actually work with us. Passing things like the Keystone pipeline would put tens of thousands of Americans back to work. If he’d work with us to delay ObamaCare and provide fairness to the American people; he’s going to give big businesses a break, why not give individuals and families the same one-year delay?” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said after a closed caucus meeting today.
“Listen, he said he wouldn’t shut down the government unless he gets more tax hikes instead of spending cuts. This is all about a big setup that’s coming in this speech,” he added. “The president wants to raise taxes so he can do more stimulus spending and the fact is, it’s his sequester and if we’re going to get rid of his sequester, we’re going to have to look for smarter spending cuts in order to do that.”
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said “another presidential speech is not going to help a mom or a dad who’s out of work, who frankly needs some job training or needs some help to get back up on that ladder of success.”
“The problem is, the only thing that he has done is acted to continue to implement ObamaCare, which as we all know now is creating a part-time worker economy, not a full-time economy that can grow,” Cantor added.
Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) quipped that “we know he has very nice backdrops to these speeches but there’s no time for the new Roman columns.”
“The Jobs Act that was done in the last Congress isn’t even implemented yet,” McCarthy said. “So there’s no need for more speeches; the time is for action and we’d rather see that and the American public would rather get back to work.”
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Obama will focus on “what the North Star is when it comes to moving our economy forward.”
“And this is a long-term project,” Carney told reporters at the daily briefing. “It’s not enough just to see the stock market bounce back. It’s not enough just to see retirement accounts replenished because of the return of the markets. It’s not enough to see the rebound in housing that we’ve seen. It’s not enough to see even the 7.2 million jobs that we’ve seen created. We need to do more. And we need to do — to make the right policy choices so that the middle class feels like they’re getting — they’re getting their interests addressed here in Washington, as opposed to ignored through policies that only do harm to the middle class.”