House Speaker John Boehner sharply condemned President Obama’s job performance today, contending that he has failed to deliver economic prosperity during his first five years and office and that the president’s signature health care law has prevented the economy from growing more rapidly.
“It’s time for the president to admit that his policies are not working,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said during a news conference at the Capitol today. “Obamacare is part of the no-jobs problem. Why? Because we’re making it more expensive for employers to add new employees. They’ve got all this uncertainty about how Obamacare is going to affect them.”
Boehner said the president failed to deliver on campaign promises that shaped the health care debate, such as people being able to keep their health care or doctor once the new law was implemented.
“If these…statements by the president turned out not to be true, why would anyone think his economic policies are going to turn out any differently?” he wondered.
This week, House Republicans are expected to pass a bill, known as the Exchange Information Disclosure Act, to improve transparency of the Affordable Care Act by requiring the administration to release accurate information about who has signed up for coverage.
“We’ve said all along that we believe that the structure and the design of the program is flawed, cannot be fixed,” Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said standing alongside Boehner. “The problem is we don’t know who really is signing up and who is participating in the exchanges. The administration has got to come forward with this kind of information.”
“If the numbers are as bad as they seem with the lack of information, just imagine perhaps how bad it really is,” Cantor continued. “We need to get to the bottom of this. People’s health care is at stake. People’s pocketbooks are at stake.”
Boehner implored President Obama to urge Senate Democrats to consider some of the measures the GOP has passed that they believe would spur job creation because “the unemployed want nothing more” than “the chance to have a good job.”
“The president’s taken his eye off the ball, taken his eye off of the issue of jobs,” he said. “If the president’s serious about wanting to improve the prospects for our economy and higher wages and better jobs, all he has to do is pick up the phone and call Democrat leaders in the Senate and ask them to move one of these dozens of bills that we’ve sent over there, that would help put Americans back to work.”
Boehner said he still has not decided how his party will proceed when Congress addresses a looming debt limit increase, which is expected as soon as next month, but he insisted Congress will be able to strike a deal to ensure the country’s debt obligations are met.
“We do have to deal with the debt ceiling here in the coming months, and no decision’s been made about how we’re going to proceed, but I’m encouraged that we are going to proceed,” Boehner pledged. “No one wants to default on our debt.”
The statutory debt limit was suspended until Feb. 7 as part of the bipartisan deal to reopen the government after the shutdown last October. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has indicated that the department should be able to stretch its authority until late next month.