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.
Where was the meal on the table for dinner? . I thought tax reform was a direct hit to reduce the debt and the GOP should share its part for the future of American now, instead of keeping whinning.
Debt is a long-term issue. Reducing debt and spending in a down economy slows the recovery. I agree we must tackle the debt and spending issue, but it should not be done until our economy can handle the hit. I'm not a fan of kicking the can down the road, but the time to do this was a decade ago, or wait a few more years when our economy is stronger.
Reagan knew this. That is how we got out of the recession in the 80s.
Sometimes I think that the GOP only insists on reducing spending when there is a Dem in the White House, just because they can then pin the negative effects on the other party.
Let's see, more people getting jobs, means more people paying taxes and getting off of unemployment, means less being paid out by the Gov't.
Yes, it's a revenue issue, part because taxes are too low on the upper class, part because so many people are unemployed. Seems to me more people working means more taxes being paid, means a revenue increase for the Gov't.
If only the repoblicans would do thier job and focus on jobs billsand stop blocking them and not focusing on contraception, abortion and gay marriage.
Instead of partisanship bantering, why not say "good job" – role up the sleeves and move forward on the debt – or anything else? The whining has to stop already – it's time to move the country forward. That is how the real world works. We, as informed citizens, need to vote out those that bar us from moving forward – that is our job.
The debt is a real issue and worse than that is the ongoing trade deficit. Currently we are on target to buy well over $500 billion more from overseas than we export. We are bleeding ourselves profusely and the only reason we are not broke or suffering much more is because we are borrowing heavily to sustain our current overindulged lifestyles. We will hit a cap in borrowing one day....and then everything will collapse. If we stop buying so much from overseas, the money will be spent at home creating jobs here and adding greatly to our tax base and this lowering our federal spending deficit. Foreign governments do not want us to do that and many US corporations seeking near term profits do not want us to do that either...plus many consumers are addicted to cheap foreign products adding to the problem.
It's interesting when politicians complain about debt when they voted for expensive tax cuts for the rich, wars, and prescription bills without a way to pay for it.
Good question...what about the debt? For almost 32 consecutive years, both parties have sent us deeper and deeper in debt every year. Neither of these two parties has any room to criticize the other. Both have failed miserably on their watch at addressing our debt. They simply make a bigger deal of it when the opposite group is in charge, but nothing ever changes.
Only fools cont to believe anything that the GOP say. You can repeat lies all you want, but the country is moving forward.
Without robust job growth, the deficit will not be going down anytime soon.
They complain about the debt -–THE GOP CREATED THE DEBT!!! with their two unfunded wars for decades and the meltdown of our economy by the unchecked Capitalists. Their only solution is to pay the MIC bill on the backs of the poor and elderly – these guys have no shame.
Yes the US has a spending problem but why didnt the repubs say anything 6 years ago. And why cant we cut ANY defense? Spending more than the next 11 countries combined is insane
@Fair is Fair:
Your gig of blaming Obama for everything that goes wrong and crediting the GOP for what little improvement we've seen has long since lost it's flavor and impact on a public weary of constant bickering.