The White House is holding fast to its claim that Republicans are running a do-nothing Congress, and, unlike President Obama, have yet to put forth a jobs bill — or at least a real one.
Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) press office Thursday evening pointedly released a summary of a private phone call he and Obama had earlier that day, in which Boehner took serious issue with Obama’s claims during that morning’s press conference that he has yet to see a GOP plan for job creation. (Obama had called Boehner to congratulate him on the passage of trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama).
Boehner reminded Obama that House Republicans put forth a “Plan for America’s Job Creators” in May, and noted that he and other members of the GOP leadership team have spoken with the President and his staff about the plan and referenced it on numerous occasions, in letters and elsewhere.
The GOP plan consists of repealing government regulations on businesses, reducing taxes on individuals to 25 percent, allowing businesses to reinvest their overseas profits in the U.S. without having to pay a tax penalty, passing the three trade agreements, maximizing U.S. energy production and paying down the debt by slashing government spending.
But the White House argues that most of those policies — minus the trade agreements (which he strongly supported) — won’t do anything to create jobs immediately, and so Obama and his team don’t consider the proposal a real Jobs plan and they haven’t been shy about saying so.
White House spokesman Jay Carney on Friday was asked whether Obama was miffed by Boehner’s decision to release the contents of his private conversation with the President. Carney’s response: we must have hit a nerve.
“What I think it points out [is] that Republicans are coming under pressure from their constituents to do something on jobs and the economy, because again, one of the reasons they’re coming under pressure, we’re not just saying this is essential, their constituents are saying it,” Carney said.
“The Republicans’ so-called plan for jobs creators, while it might have some good ideas in it, free trade agreements, passage of patent reform and some other issues, those same outside analysts are saying will have no significant impact on the economy or jobs in the near term,” he continued.
In Boehner’s account of the phone call, he told Obama that Republicans have given his jobs plan serious consideration and even released a detailed memo outlining specific areas where they believe common ground can be found.
Boehner also pointed out that the House has already acted on several items in the White House jobs package, including a veterans hiring bill, trade agreements, and a 3 percent withholding bill, which the Ways & Means Committee approved Thursday and will be voted on the House floor this month.
“They also discussed transportation and infrastructure, and the Speaker expressed his desire to do something on the issue, but to do it in a fiscally-responsible way,” Boehner’s release noted.
Correction: original report misquoted Carney as saying NAFTA reform, instead of patent reform.