Boehner: If some federal workers lose jobs because of GOP cuts, 'so be it'
February 15th, 2011
02:04 PM ET
3 years ago

Boehner: If some federal workers lose jobs because of GOP cuts, 'so be it'

Washington (CNN) - House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday if some federal workers lose jobs because of Republican-proposed spending cuts, "so be it." But House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was quick to say "not so be it."

"Over the last two years since President Obama has taken office, the federal government has added 200,000 new federal jobs and if some of those jobs are lost in this, so be it," Boehner said during a news conference with reporters at the Republican National Committee. "We're broke! It's time for us to get serious about how we're spending the nation's money."

Boehner, who was joined by other House Republican leaders, criticized the President's budget proposal for not cutting enough and said Republicans would address entitlement reform when they release their budget blueprint this spring.

"Republicans will not punt," said Boehner. "Everything's on the table. We will put forward a budget that deals with the big challenges that face our country…I have no doubts that all of these issues [Social Security and Medicare] will be on the table."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi seized on Boehner's comments in a speech on the floor, saying Republicans' proposed cuts would leave many in the cold.

"Democrats do not subscribe to Speaker Boehner's verdict that if jobs are lost in this continuing resolution, so be it," Pelosi said. "Maybe so be it for him. But not so be it for the people who are losing their jobs."

Asked at a news conference about Boehner's comments about federal workers, New Jersey Democrat Rob Andrews pounced.

"What I'd wonder – so what if it's air traffic controllers that make the skies safe? So what if it's FBI personnel working in labs that do DNA testing of suspects? So what if it's border security officers keeping people from getting into the country illegally? So what if it's USDA meat inspectors that make sure our food supply is safe? So what if it's people who test the cleanliness of our drinking water or test for radioactivity in our land?"

– CNN's Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.


Filed under: John Boehner
soundoff (256 Responses)
  1. frag

    For once I agree with the town crier, but only if he's the one who loses his job. By the way Mr. Boehner, where are the "jobs, jobs, jobs." I thought you guys were going to CREATE jobs?

    February 15, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  2. scott

    I thought the incoming Repubs won on the basis of job creation, not putting more folks on unemployment...

    February 15, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  3. CNN The Masters of Spin

    Hey Infectous Nancy Pelosi and Rabid Rob Andrews......all you will need to do is, let the slobs who sit around all day taking tax payer money while doing absolutely no good......such as IRS employees, or the guys who sit around all day counting bugs etc.....there is PLENTY of waste in government employees....after all Obambi has increased government hiring by over 50% in the last 2 years.....just let those go! Idiots! Everyone knows that the number one way to get a Democrat vote for life is "PAY for it"....but the problem now is.....there is NO MORE MONEY....why can't you IDIOTS realize that this nation is BROKE! Get off welfare and get a JOB!

    February 15, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  4. Kevin Boudreaux

    As a card carrying Democrat - I hate to admit I agree with Boehner. The Federal Gov't needs to tighten it's purse strings just as I have had to do in my personal life.

    February 15, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. Spanish Inquisition

    Let's stop spending our Nation's money on foreign oil !

    February 15, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. Joshua Ludd

    Too bad Boehner wasn't worried about the debt when Bush was in office.. when we first went into record debt territory thanks to the Republicans... and now Boehner thinks that cutting jobs is going to help? Where is Boehner planning to CREATE any jobs? More tax cuts for the rich? That hasn't worked for 30 years, so it isn't going to start working now. We need to put more money in the hands of the majority of Americans, which will then be spent and will create market demand... the ONLY thing that really creates long-term jobs and prosperity. Under Republican rule, however, we have only seen the poor get poorer and the rich get richer, which is a recipe for disaster. I don't really care how much or little the wealthy are making except in that it affects the rest of the nation's income, such as the huge increases in executive pay we have seen while wages for average workers have been stagnant for decades.

    February 15, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  7. gotthumbs

    If those jobs were unnecessary to begin with...ie Obama czars, then So Be It. We cannot employee every US Citizen in the federal government. Else we become a socialist society.

    February 15, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  8. Kevin Collins

    What Boener conveniently forgets to mention is that there were a lot of temporary federal workers for the Census which is now over and so are those jobs.

    February 15, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  9. sandy

    Bet he'd think different if it were his job or someone in his familes job. From what I can see, there is not one Republican out there who cares about what happens to Americans. This is disgusting and I just hope all those out there who voted to put the Republicans back in charge are sleeping good at night. I don't think we've seen anything yet.

    February 15, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  10. Joe-SixPack

    If a federal worker loses a job so be it, but if an oil company loses a tax break or a millionaire has to pay a few thousand more, the Repubs will have a fit. Now we see where their priorities lie ...

    February 15, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  11. JEJ

    Boehner, the Crybaby Fool of a Tool. Now do you people understand why this is going to be a 2-year lame duck Congress?

    February 15, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  12. rusty155

    You John Boehner You can't cut social security or Medicare or you are going too put Old people and people that can't work out In the street. These people work all their life and pay money In to It. It wouldn't be fair that they don't get It. If you Republican wouldn't have borrow from Social Security and never pay It back , there wouldn't be any need for maybe cutting or what ever you think you going to do to It. And If you mess with Social Security than the Gov. should pay back ever thing every America has pay Into It all their life with Interest. And one more thing If you Really want too cut something don't do It from the poor, Why don't you people In the House and Senate cut your PAY IN HALF. That would cut the dept down a lot Right their and get rid of that high price health Insurance you have. You will till make more money than most American people. And quit giving Foreign aid and Military aid too other Country be for you start cutting on American people. that right there save U.S. billions of dollar right there.

    February 15, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  13. Julie C

    Yes, he'd rather the wealthy keep their cushy tax breaks than all those jobs mentioned like air traffic controllers, etc. What a sleaze this buy is!

    February 15, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  14. johnrj08

    So be it? That's Boehner's edict? Talk about a man being detached from the impact of his actions. Boehner knows that the fastest way to deal with the deficit is to grow the economy. Yet, according to what he is saying here, he thinks the best way to reduce the deficit is to put people out of work. Those people will go on government assistance, and will not be paying any taxes. At the same, whatever services they were providing to the public will be reduced if not eliminated. Boehner and his Republican cohorts seem all too willing to see people laid off, but they haven't done a damn thing to create more jobs.

    February 15, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  15. dcmisty

    If "everything is on the table", how about freezing the annual pay increases for the Congress for the next 5 years. If they can cut federal jobs then let it begin with their pay.. How about Mr. Boehner..if you mean what you say then pass a law that freezes your salary increase and every Congressman's and Senator's pay raises. It's real easy to play with someone else's life in the name of politics!

    February 15, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  16. shadysider

    It would be nice if the jobs in question were political aides, forcing the lawmakers to actually read the bills instead of having them parsed over by subordinates. My bigger issue with Boehnner is that he won't go after cuts in the big 3 entitlement programs, or the defense budget. It's more disgusting on Boehnner's part that he refused to plainly say that 'Obama is an American and a Chrisitan.' Guess he figures that McCain's correcting the base didn't win him any points, so why should he do it himself. Pathetic. These guys would rather have an ignorant, bigoted group of peopel vote for them then not be in power.

    February 15, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  17. bobinnyc

    Funny how those with a job, free health care, and a guaranteed, fat pension can be so cold, cruel and cavalier about others losing their jobs. That's it... punish the ones who had nothing to do with our current fiscal crisis while continuing to reward all those who contributed to the melt-down. That's the new American way! Ship jobs overseas, then blame those on unemployment as "lazy." Welcome to the Oligarchy of America!

    February 15, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  18. Matt

    I hope American voters are taking note of this, the GOP campaigned on "jobs" yet now that they're in they just want to continue the mass jobs blood letting. When will America wake up and realize that Republicans don't have "We the people" on their priority list, they have themselves and the top 2% on their priority list.

    February 15, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  19. Robert

    If it's necessary to raise taxes to cut the deficit, then "so be it." Maybe not right away, but as soon as we are confident that the recovery is strong enough. Also, please note that everyone's been asking when the GOP will address jobs in America in this new congress... They just did.

    February 15, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  20. The reality is...

    Try using the whole statement in the headline. " Obama has added 200, 000 federal jobs since taking office....."
    Got that? 200,000 new federal jobs ADDED!!! Dang right " so be it" if some of them lose jobs!!!

    February 15, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  21. pflatman

    I sure hope he doesn't start crying over Pelosi's rebuff. She has bigger huevos than Boehner ever had. He's the biggest wimp I've ever seen in politics...

    February 15, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  22. rs

    Boehner might have a little credibility here if he hadn't demanded another go round of the Bush tax cuts (slated to expire last December) for the wealthiest 2% of AMericans. I don't see "we broke" going with adding $700 billion to the debt. Also- Boehner is guilty of porking by keeping defense contracts in his district for a jet engine the Defense Department doest want.

    February 15, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  23. maine liberal

    I know of one "federal employee" i would like to see go ... John Boehner so be it

    February 15, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  24. PacificView

    If we're broke why did you cut taxes and reduce our income stream?

    February 15, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  25. Dennis

    Ok, who do we cut, people from ICE? From the FBI? From USCIS? From CBP? From the SEC? Remember what happened when we cut inspectors from the FDA in 2001 and 2002? That's right, suddenly everyone was getting sick. These people protect our protect us, protect our borders, protect our nation.

    February 15, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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