GOP on jobs report: What about the debt?
March 8th, 2013
10:04 AM ET
5 years ago

GOP on jobs report: What about the debt?

Washington (CNN) – With news Friday the economy had added a better-than-expected 236,000 jobs in February, Republicans quickly turned back to the ongoing battle with the White House over the bloated national debt.

"Any job creation is positive news, but the fact is unemployment in America is still way above the levels the Obama White House projected when the trillion-dollar stimulus spending bill was enacted, and the federal government's ongoing spending binge has resulted in a debt that exceeds the size of our entire economy," House Speaker John Boehner wrote in a statement released 45 minutes after the jobs report came out.

While the unemployment rate fell to the lowest level of President Barack Obama's presidency, Republicans still weren't satisfied with the 7.7% figure the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday morning. The report was a measure of the jobs situation before the mandatory across-the-board spending cuts took effect at the beginning of March.

"We must recognize that America must do better than 7.7% unemployment," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus wrote in a statement. "There is still more work to be done. Too many American families are living paycheck-to-paycheck, and too many of our fellow citizens have spent months and months looking for a good job."

But like Boehner, Priebus brought his criticism back the ongoing impasse over reducing the debt, writing that uncertainly in the business community over new regulations and tax increases was preventing job growth.

"We can accelerate this job creation if President Obama is willing to put together a serious budget, giving business more certainty and thus allowing them to hire more," Priebus wrote, pointing to measures accomplished by House Republicans and GOP governors as examples of fiscal responsibility.

"It's time for President Obama and his party to join us in working to get more Americans back to work and securing a debt-free future for our children," he concluded.

Alan Krueger, the chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, wrote in a White House statement that "While more work remains to be done, today's employment report provides evidence that the recovery that began in mid-2009 is gaining traction."

Krueger stressed that Friday's report reflected the hiring environment pre-spending cuts, which were triggered after the White House and Congressional Republicans failed to strike a deal to find alternative ways to reduce the federal debt.

"The Administration continues to urge Congress to move toward a sustainable Federal budget in a responsible way that balances tax loophole closing, entitlement reform, and sensible spending cuts, while making critical investments in the economy that promote growth and job creation and protecting our most vulnerable citizens," Krueger wrote.

CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Filed under: Jobs • John Boehner • RNC
soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. RINO Bill

    I am not convinced that the debt is a real issue.

    Why is it that GOP is only interested in the debt when the preisdent is a Democrat? These hypocrites did NOTHING when George W. Bush was president and spending money like a drunken sailor on shore leave.

    If the debt is such a bad thing, the Republicans would not just be calling for reduced spending, they would also insist on increasing taxes that would bring in more revenues to reduce the debt.

    This is another of their fearmongering political games.

    March 8, 2013 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  2. Daryl Hensley

    Boo Hoo!! And yet the Republicans continue to fund everything the administration requests!!!

    March 8, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  3. muchthunder..little rain

    no jobs tax glad , we need more jobs..less spending

    March 8, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  4. Fair is Fair


    The improved 7.7% unemployment rate can certainly not be attributed to any help given by the GOP. They have filibustered virtually every idea that Obama has proposed
    Name ONE thing Obama enacted – just ONE – that you can attribute the improved employment numbers to. Go ahead. JUST ONE. If you can't, then it goes to reason that the improvement can be attributed to the GOP having put a stop to as much of Obama's insanity as they possibly could.

    March 8, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  5. Stephen

    Wait, I thought the GOP campaigned on jobs? Oh, no that was 2010, they stopped caring about jobs the minute they got sworn in. Of course it's pretty predictable–one thing improves, anything else that hasn't been resolved is a problem–as long as they're not in charge, at least.

    March 8, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  6. Brad

    This is just killing the republicans.

    March 8, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  7. TBD

    Couldnt help but notice the post with the name "Facts Don't Lie" is claiming that the fact, the unemployment level for example, is not a result of the current administration. That is interesting, maybe a name change to "Facts Do Lie" would be more accurate.

    March 8, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  8. BOBOBo

    It is a good news that the unemployment rate is low, but how much moneydid we dump to stimulus after 6 years?

    March 8, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  9. ME_ED

    Seems to me, if you want certainty, then pick a course and stick with it. If taxes go up and spending go down and we can achieve a balance, that would work. Not knowing what is going to happen is the problem. We need to stop gridlock!!!

    March 8, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  10. Average Jo

    Funny how nothing is mentioned about the hundreds of thousands of government workers just sequestered. Funny how they are taking 20% of their pay (many of the workers living paycheck to paycheck AND who are engineers, scientists, etc.) but Congress just gave themselves a pay increase and did not sequester themselves. More bull from both parties who won't give up until this country falls.

    March 8, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  11. DocHollywood

    These republicans just can't find nor acknowledge good news. Here's a tip, Boehner. If you got off your ass and worked with the president to create more jobs instead of working on the tea party's obstructionism, the debt would go down. Less people on government assistance, more people paying taxes, more businesses selling their goods. Things the GOP USED to be for, but now that the democrats are doing it, it's just friggin' terrible, huh? And if the job reports comes in good next month, Boehner will probably start crying again. Boehner....the WORST speaker of the house EVER.

    March 8, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  12. dan

    GOP complained about HUGE tax inceases january 1. Can we now say that they did not slow job growth but if anything helped improve job growth?? ALL the Bush tax cuts should have been rolled back, the federal minimum wage should raised to at least $10/hour immediately and this economy would take off like a rocket

    March 8, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  13. Pete

    All this congress ,senate have to do is simply advocate for jobs,infastructure and farm bills something Pres.Obamas has been fighting for since his inaugeration ,just as Pres.Roosevelt did after the Republicans Great Depression..Raise taxes on imports and give tax breaks to companies that'll relocate back here stateside and to new foriegn companies as well so to improve employement ,the more employed the more revenue ,the more of a chance of getting out of this ditch our last republican Pres.Bush put us into!!

    March 8, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  14. mattski

    I think Boehner and Priebus are quickly becoming irrelevant. Boehner cries about being excluded from the small WH meeting while those in attendance, including Paul Ryan, opened a bipartisan door (hopefully).

    March 8, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  15. Dave

    Hasn't Mitt Romney taken credit for this yet? It's just a matter of time for Teapublicans to take credit for the good news and blame Obama that it should be better. LOL. The GOP's destructive efforts to derail the USA economy will be their signature for years to come.

    March 8, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  16. stevetall

    Can we send a drone to Boehner's house? What a dip. How about a little leadership, you moron? You created the problem, now you refuse to work on the solution, and any improvemnet that does occur is too small for you to acknowledge. Folks, this is what bad representation looks like. Thank God that the Republican Party is almost out of business. May they rest in peace after their extinction, but they will not be missed.

    March 8, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  17. Core republican Values

    As a republican, I want to destroy other people so I can personally profit. This jobs report is terrible news. If this keeps up, I'll have to fire some of the people who work for me, to punish them.

    By the way, we must increase subsidies to big oil. I own several hundred thousand shares of Exxon.

    March 8, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  18. Thinkergal

    Thank goodness we re-elected our president!

    March 8, 2013 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  19. TheBigT

    Start with Congresional paycuts.

    March 8, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  20. jdun

    Join the republicans for solutions? The party of no? If trhe stimulus had been 2 trillion and included 1 trillion for infrastructure repair and upgrades we would be at 6% unemployment today. That's what Obama wanted. The republicans said no and will continue to do so until our roads and bridges collapse. Austerity is no solution for economic growth.

    March 8, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  21. Pete in Guilford

    Remember when they were elected in 2010, the Republicans promised a "laser focus on jobs"? Haven't seen any of that from them. A broken campaign promise (not just a promise—it was the premise upon which they ran and won Congress in 2010) and they have the nerve to say that Obama's broken promises. Complaining about debt and deficits isn't going to create jobs.

    March 8, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  22. Doug Harrod

    "What about the debt" - A good point because it needs to be addressed but why didn't they ask the same question from 2000-2008? Guess it wasn't important at that time.

    March 8, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  23. Tim

    The republicans keep saying they want a budget from the Obama Administration, but the responsibility of the budget lies squarely on Congress!! Congress and the House of Representatives are responsible for the purse strings, not the executive branch!! They do have to work with the President to get their budget passed, not the other way around!!! Political History 101!!!

    March 8, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  24. cw

    Fair is Fair, so you can prove beyond a doubt that Republican obstructionism is fueling this growth? I'm sure you can.

    March 8, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  25. Marty, FL

    DC Johnny,

    In case you forgot, the GOP also recently spoke of closing loopholes but failing to specify which ones.

    At least Dems state which loopholes to close, which are supported by the majority of Americans.

    March 8, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
1 2 3 4 5