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. Vader

    Madam Minority Leader:
    On what planet is the Federal Government meant to be the 'full employment act of 2011', and impervious to workforce contractions? That seems to be the message.

    In the real (as in private sector) world, employment grows and shrinks according to demand for goods and services; no demand, fewer jobs. More demand, more jobs. Or have you been asleep for the past 2-3 years as this country as seen unemployment rise to 9% and above? It stands to reason that if you cut spending (and the services being funded by that spending), fewer people are needed and yes, FEDERAL GOVERNMENT JOBS would be cut. We cannot sustain spending at today's levels.

    While I'm not particularly sympathetic to the Repudnant-can party, exactly how out of touch are you?

    February 15, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  2. Mad Man

    About time, if you haven't noticed the only one's left in the job market that have not seen a reduction in pay or a loss in benefits are those with government jobs. We are now taxing the tax dollar paying those employed by government to have the best medical care and pensions available, all while not being able to provide the same for ourselves.

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

    New Jersey Democrat Rob Andrews is right on the mark; people complain about "big government" but they are also the first to complain if bad beef isn't caught before it reaches their dinner table etc... which security are we willing to forgo?

    February 15, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  4. Annie, Atlanta

    I don't know what the people in his district are thinking, actually. This guy is heartless, at the very least. He should be next on the chopping block of federal employee job loss.

    February 15, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  5. a in austin

    He doesn't care because those losing their jobs don't have the $$$ to keep him in his current lifestyle. When you listen to him and gop governors – they all have the same idea. Let's cut teachers, police officers, fire fighters, and government employees. Let's end the Bush tax cuts. I don't hear that on the table. Main street voters should NOT be the total recipient of all their ideas to cut but so far, that's all I've seen. WHERE ARE THE JOBS???? YOU CAMPAIGNED HEAVILY ON THIS ISSUE BUT HAVE DONE NOTHING. IN FACT, NOW YOU ARE SAYING THERE IS "UNCERTAINTY" OUT THERE – Funny how that word disappeared after the rich got theirs at thie time. Now it's the word of the week again!

    February 15, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  6. BeverlyNC

    Boehner should lose his job. He is not a leader and so far has been a complete and total failure. He has accomplished nothing and has broken every promise he and his Republican Party made to the People. Now as an overly paid public servant, he has not offered one single solution or idea for creating jobs but has opposed every single solid solution offered by President Obama for job creation. Now he wants to eliminate whole Federal agencies that keep Americans safe, healthy from unclean food, disease protected, our air and water kept safe, and even our children educated. They want to eliminate veteran healthcare, our new healthcare law that stops insurance company abuses, and yet members of Congress will not give up their government-provided, taxpayer-funded expensive healthcare plans. Boehner also wants to take away pensions from REAL public servants like firefighters, policemen, and teachers and break up the unions that protect them. He also wants to eliminate Social Security we paid into all our careers but no member of Congress will give up their pension which they get a FULL one after only serving 5 years – one term if you are a Senator. It pays 80% of their salary – which is approx. $140K a year for the rest of their life. NO ONE gets such a generous pension even after working for 30 to 40 years at a company. We should eliminate all Congressional healthcare and pension plans since most are already wealthy or have pensions from previous jobs. We also should cut their salaries in half to be more in line with what average Americans make and since members of Congress are public servants representing the People. Maybe then these haughty Republicans would be more People-focused if they had to live like average Americans. Boehner even supports Republican lies that mislead the People and is totally dishonest about issues and legislation before Congress. He should be removed along with the weasel Cantor who is too inexperienced to be in a position of leadership. Republicans cannot be trusted and actually hate the American People. They are corporate robots and care only about the wealthy. Average Americans are just a nuisance to them. If we have no jobs, no pensions, no healthcare, no proper education for our children, then why do they care? They have their big Congressional salaries, healthcare, pensions and lobbyist perks. To hell with America and its problems! Never trust a Republican. Better wise up and look to the Democrats who are doing everything possible to stand up for the middle and working class. They are fighting for YOU, the PEOPLE. Just look at all the legislation that is people-focused they passed. What have Republicans done? NOTHING. Nothing but obstruction. Nothing but NO to everything. Not a single solution for anything. Republicans are worthless to the restoration of our country they destroyed. They should be the ones losing their jobs and ALL their benefits.

    February 15, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  7. Molly Weasley

    House Speaker John Bonehead, who campaigned on "WHERE ARE THE JOBS?" is sure doing a lousy job worrying about job creation. Instead, House Republicans have spent all their time on:

    Proposing to raise taxes on health insurance plans that offer abortions.
    Changing the definition of rape so that rape of underage girls and date rape won't count.
    Seeking to kill health care jobs by repealing the health reform law.

    Maybe he would rather the U.S. go the way of Great Britain, where the economy retracted when David Cameron instituted severe budget cuts. Way too severe for most Brits, poll after poll is showing.

    Not the way to move the country forward.

    February 15, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. AEK

    Anyone surprised by Speaker Boehner's comments? A show of hands? No hands? The Republican Party DOES NOT CARE about you, me, anyone who is not giving them millions of dollars to support their reelection bids. This became so very apparent during the health care disaster last year. Want to know who is controlling the GOP talking points and agenda, look no farther than their bank account. IT IS NOT the American voting public!

    February 15, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  9. Canuck

    But there's still endless funds for useless wars...

    February 15, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  10. Newter

    Funny, they didn't seem to think it was important to cut people's jobs when they started the federal monstrosities we call Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Security Agency. No "so be it" then. Where are the cuts to DEA? How about cutting the F-35 engines the Pentagon DOESN'T WANT? How about we stop spending money to "build" other people's nations, before we start cutting into peoples jobs in OUR nation?
    Funny how the Republicans are so non-chalant about putting people out of work, now that they rode into power allegedly to bring back jobs. Same old Republican hypocrisy. Never changes, never will. I can't imagine why people still vote for these yokels, I really can't.

    February 15, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  11. obama victim

    most govt employees..including the Botox Babe....are incompetent. Getting rid of a govt employee is an act of patriotism.

    February 15, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  12. CLT

    For once I agree with a Republican!!

    February 15, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  13. lforlegend

    He just told a whole lotta people to kiss his (expletive deleted) because he's only gonna look out for his own. And you better believe that the poor and jobless come in all colors, denomibations, and geographic location. WAKE UP America.

    February 15, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  14. JR, San Diego

    Question, Boehner, how many of those federal jobs created in the last 2 years were for Republican congressional and senate staffs?

    February 15, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  15. Steve Whinfield

    I wish our elected people would start talking about gaining jobs.

    February 15, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  16. wakeup america

    What a crass idiot! Why does he continue to get re-elected? Whether Federal or private, a job loss is huge for families and individuals. Toss Boehner's job out and you bet he will be crying instead of saying so be it.

    February 15, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  17. sonny chapman

    The fact that Repubs. consider govt. workers as Dem. voters is totally irrelevant to Mr. Boehner.

    February 15, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  18. Rose

    I agree with John Boehner, it is time to reduce Federal gov't employees. Obama has added way too many people to his payrolll and when the Obamacare (if it goes through) is implemented there will be more added to the IRS. Pelosi only cares about the Federal employees, how about the average worker who has been out of work for a year or more, why didn't she mention them. Obama should start with his Czars, why does he need so many??

    February 15, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  19. Mike

    What if we vote them out? So be it! Why is it that Republicans only go after them middle and lower class. They never want to have the wealthy do their part. It's a shame because that kind i=on thinking iv=s very much against the teachings of the bible, the same book they wave when discussing abortion. Shame on them.

    February 15, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  20. Jay in Illinois

    Losing a job is lifecrushing Mr. Boehner. It's the 1st true reason tears should flow from your eyes.

    I bet not a tear will fall for causing true pain. Yep, you're a Republican.

    February 15, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  21. Dave Cink

    Has anyone suggested that congress look at their own situation for cuts of excess expenditures? I think if past and present members of congress would volunteer to give up pensions (pensions they did not pay into to support–that makes them different than social security, etc.) how much would that save? Could we solve the national debt right there?

    February 15, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  22. Annie, Atlanta

    In other news, that the corporate owned media doesn't find necessary to share with us anymore, South Dakota is considering legislation to make it justifiable homicide to kill abortion care providers. When are Republicans going to be put on a terrorist watch list, or at least redefined as a hate group? Whether you believe in a woman's right to have an abortion or not, does this not go just a little bit beyond accepted law? Is this even legal to make it ok to kill an abortion doctor, since abortion is a legal medical procedure? And what the hell is going on with this country where murder could even be considered acceptable?

    February 15, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. TomG

    The whole concept of creating jobs but cutting programs, both at the federal and state levels (Kansas is going through the same thing) just escapes me. I confess, my college economics class was one of my least favorite courses, but even without having taken that course, I still can't understand how cutting programs won't cause MORE unemployment. I guess maybe I should become a Republican. Then the top GOP dogs can just keep telling me over and over "cutting programs WILL create jobs." I can't see that happening but at least maybe I'd eventually believe what they said for a change.

    February 15, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  24. Jon

    Apparently conservatives feel that working for the public sector doesn't count as a "real job."

    February 15, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  25. wanderer

    Good! Mr. John Boehner. So you will let your rich friends (big companies) take over the Federal Jobs and those who lose their job will work for them with less pay and benefits. Those who will lose their Federal job will not have money to save for their children to go to college. Their children will have to join the Army and then die for Mr. Boehner's rich friends. It is a clever plan. Americans who want this to happen just keep the GOP in the office in 2012.

    February 15, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
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