Boehner: If some federal workers lose jobs because of GOP cuts, 'so be it'
February 15th, 2011
02:04 PM ET
9 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. Dave IL

    Typical Democrat BS. The biggest costs in most companies are the salaries and benefits of the employees and to make any meaningful cutbacks, people will be laid off. The more telling point is that while the private sector was losing millions of jobs, the Democrats added 200,000 federal government jobs which have to be paid for by the taxes of the private sector.

    February 15, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Good to see Beck's Bircher Bagger Brigade out in full force today.

    February 15, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  3. David in Seattle

    Where are his crocodile tears now? I can assure you that the vast majority of the government employees he wants to cut don't earn anywhere near his $225,00 plus benefits and an 80% pension! For someone who grew up as a tavern owners son, he really thinks he's hot ****. He's not even lukeward diarrhea - he's just a cold turd.

    February 15, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  4. Mack

    Let some or most of Boehner's numerous staffers and aides be fingered to lose their jobs because of proposed spending cuts; you can bet he won't be saying, "So be it!" Oh, but it's the Republican-proposed cuts, so only the Democrat staffers and aides will lose their jobs, not the Republicans.

    February 15, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The republican congress is as foolish as the CPAC (crack pots acting crazy)

    February 15, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  6. duffey

    Not so fast Mr Boner. What about those protected programs in your home state?

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

    Is Weeper of House going to cry again ?

    February 15, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  8. Tony in Maine

    They can always caddy for Palm Beach John.

    Why do I think this sounds like another clueless remark from a few centuries ago, "Let them eat cake."

    Food for thought – according to Forbes magazine stats, the US ranks 48th in the world in total tax burden. We are NOT broke – just cheap.

    February 15, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  9. Dave IL

    As for New Jersey Democrat Rob Andrews' concerns, you only have to look at the condition New Jersey's finances were in under the Democrats to question anything he has to say about budgetary issues.

    February 15, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  10. harvey 60

    Beaner and friends don't care if the air is polluted, the food is unsafe, banks engage in predatory lending, airports are dangerous, crime increases, and people lose their jobs, social security, and healthcare, just as long as they, the wealthiest fat cats, don't lose what they have and, how awful, have to pay more taxes to earn it. the Party of Nixon (crook), the party of Hoover (Depression), the Party of Bush (Great Recession), the Party of Angle, Palin, and O'Donnell, what a disgrace! Of course Beaner and friends don't care – they're not going to freeze, they're still eating steak while 48 million Americans are starving, and just how much is Beaner going to take home when he collects his Government Pension a la Newt Gingrich? bet none of them give that back. Why doesn't he introduce legislation that no American with $1 million or more in net worth can collect social security, medicare, or a government pension? how many former "destitute" senators and representatives are there that can't afford to give it back?

    February 15, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. Bill

    Hey Mr. Boner. If you are soooooo emphatic about reigning in "wasteful" govt spending then how come you aren't canceling the $450 million earmarked for production of spare engines for the Strike fighter? The military has repeatedly said they do not want or need this extravagance yet you keep pushing it through. Could it be that this is for contracts in your district and Mr. Cantor's district? Hmmmmm....sounds like an ear mark to me. Stop being such a hypocrite and walk the walk.

    February 15, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  12. Carla

    Yes. If some Federal jobs are be it...

    I think the first one on the chopping block should be Boehner's...then we can see how it goes from there.

    Fiscal responsibility can start with YOU.

    February 15, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  13. Wake UP

    He is correct! Government isn't an employment agency. Dems make Government jobs to get votes. Do you know how many taxpayers it takes to pay for 1 government job??!! This country has to wake up and realize, we are broke! Forget blaming doesn't matter. FIX IT.

    February 15, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  14. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Again Republicans show they are the party of apartheid, everything for the rich and since they've gotten the Bush tax cuts extended for the rich, "so be it" with the rest of Americans. This is America and we don't tell are fellow citizens "so be it" if you lose your job, that's about as low as you can go.

    February 15, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Boner is just living the American dream. Where else but in America can a clueless town drunk rise from a bar janitor to become third in line to the president?

    February 15, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  16. Rob

    How dumb does he think we are? The 200,000 workers were temporary census workers.

    And I suppose it is cliche to put out how eager he is to help out the wealthy at the expense of the middle class....

    February 15, 2011 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. Irma in North Carolina

    The orange man dont give a darn about the American People, as long as he has a job. I hope the reublicans that put him in there will start to realize what he is like.

    February 15, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  18. Pattie

    If you're so serious about how you're spending the people's money, why don't you and all of your political co-horts take paycuts? I'm sure "we the people" wouldn't mind the members of Congress, the House and the Senate ALL taking paycuts!!!!! Put your salaries "on the table"...... I"m sure THAT would put a dent in the budget

    February 15, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  19. Ken in NC

    House Speaker John Boehner and Republicans campaigned on JOBS, JOBS and JOBS. Well now that they are in power we are seeing what they ment by JOBS, JOBS,JOBS. It is their intention to carry out the wishes of their employers, Big Businesses, and reduce the American workforce and bust unions so they can take our pay and benefit packages back to the 1960's where what they called a good wage was $3.00 an hour with no benefits. If you think the unemployed that are called "The 99'er's" are in trouble now, just wait and see the trouble "The 26er's" will be in by the time Boehner and Republicans are finished doing the bidding of Big Business. Like he said, " if some federal workers lose jobs because of Republican-proposed spending cuts, so be it."

    February 15, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  20. Mickey, NY

    Boehner, the Weeper of the House, if YOU lose YOUR job, SO BE IT.

    February 15, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  21. Jeff

    I bet if a bill was sent to reduce Congressional members tor reduce their overinflated checks and start paying their own healthcare and whizzing around the country on taxpayer dollars, Boehner wouldn't say "so be it". It's easy for him to say when he's making millions.

    February 15, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  22. w7rkd

    Looks like Boehner stepped on his Boehner again! He's so intelligent his brilliance is blinding.

    February 15, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  23. Mike S.

    Why do Republican cuts always focus on the working class people, but not their buddies at Halliburton?

    February 15, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  24. Former Republican - Now Independent

    Don'tm you people understand! Being compassionate is not what John Boehner was hired to do.

    He was hired to restore fiscal responsibility to the government, something that he was incapable of doing while George Bush was in office.

    He was also hired to represent the interests of big business, not his consituents.

    February 15, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  25. Steve

    So how quick Boehner is to cut federal jobs to "balance" the budget. How about in his own house? Will he cut his paid staff? Will he cut his outrageous salary? Will he cut his outrageous benefits? Will he cut his travel expenses? Will he make any changes that will hurt him or his fellow politician's pockets. No. He'll fire 20,000 low paid federal employees, but won't cut a dime out of his own budger.

    February 15, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
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