FACT CHECK: Boehner Falsely Claims He Can’t Pass a Clean Budget Bill

On ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Speaker John Boehner falsely claimed he couldn’t pass a bill to reopen the government because: “There are not the votes in the House to pass a clean CR.”

In reality, 195 Democrats have signed a letter that they would vote for a clean budget resolution –  a major compromise for Democrats. In addition, at least 20 Republicans have said publicly that they want to vote for clean budget resolution to end the Republican government shutdown. Several Republican Members of Congress have even admitted it would pass.


195 House Democrats Would Vote for Clean CR.  “On day five of the government shutdown and Congress’s second consecutive Saturday session, House Democrats made more overtures to Republicans in an effort to keep the pressure on them and show the outside world that they are willing to negotiate […] Earlier this week, Democrats began to circulate for signatures a letter calling on Boehner to bring a ‘clean,’ short-term continuing resolution to the floor. They announced Saturday that they had garnered 200 Democratic signatures (195 excluding five non-voting delegates).” [Roll Call10/05/13]

At Least 20 House Republicans Would Vote for Clean CR. “However, at least 20 House Republicans have said publicly that they would vote for a clean CR and end the now four day old government shutdown if one came to the floor […] Boehner and other members of the House GOP leadership- under pressure from their tea party inspired conservative wing, have refused to put a clean CR on the floor and have shut down the government by demanding to delay or defund Obamacare.” [Politico10/04/13]

Republican Congressman Tom Cole: Boehner Could Pass Clean CR “If He Wanted To.”“Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), deputy majority whip of the House, told reporters that the decision to pass a clean funding bill belonged entirely to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). ‘He didn’t mention it, but I’m sure he could if he wanted to,’ Cole said as he emerged from Saturday’s meeting.” [Huffington Post9/30/13]

Conservative Columnist Says House Republicans Could Pass Clean CR. “There are 233 Republicans in the House. Insiders estimate that three-quarters of them, or about 175 GOP lawmakers, are willing, and perhaps even eager, to vote for a continuing resolution that funds the government without pressing the Republican goal of defunding or delaying Obamacare.” [Washington Examiner9/30/13]

The Republicans No-Jobs Agenda

On Face the Nation, this past weekend, Speaker John Boehner was asked about his record of presiding over the least productive and least popular Congress in history. He responded by defending the obstructionist policies of far-right Republicans and said that Congress should be, “judged on how many laws we repeal.”

It’s just embarrassing. Within hours of his interview, Boehner’s remarks were making headlines across the country—and even overseas. We elected our members of Congress to work on the issues we care about: creating jobs, fixing our immigration system, fighting climate change, and passing laws to reduce gun violence. We didn’t put them in office to sit there and wind back the clock.

If you ever had any doubts, this confirms it — Republicans would rather obstruct than govern. The best way to stop them is to vote them out of office.


Congress Has Passed 13 Laws This Year—None of Them Have to Do With Jobs

Despite Boehner’s Rhetoric About Jobs, Not One of the Bills That the House Has Approved “Have Been Focused on Employment.” “In the six months and four days since the 113th Congress began, it has passed 13 laws. And, despite lawmakers constantly beating the drum on boosting jobs, none of the new measures have been focused on employment.” National Journal6/07/13

The Least Productive Congress Ever 

113th Congress “Is The Least Productive Congress Ever.” “So, how does this House stack up against past years when it comes to productivity? Not so well, according to the new Vital Statistics on Congress, which shows that the 112th Congress passed just 561 bills, the lowest number since they began keeping these stats way back in 1947.” Washington Post7/17/13

 U.S. Congress Approval Remains Dismal 

Gallup: Nearly 80 Percent of Americans Disapprove of Congress. “Americans remain down on Congress, with 15% approving and 78% disapproving of the job it is doing. This approval rating is similar to the low levels seen this year, and is five percentage points above the all-time low of 10%, last recorded in August 2012.” Gallup7/17/13]

House Republicans Actually Pushing Plan That Makes Students Pay More

After letting student loan interest rates double last week, Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans had the gall to rally today outside the Capitol this week in support of their plan that would actually increase college costs for students.

john_boehner_Boehner and House Republicans passed a plan earlier this year that would actually pinch students’ wallets even more than their failure to act because “student loan rates could steadily climb and cost students more over the long haul,” under their plan, according to the Associated Press. House Democrats have been demanding an extension of current rates that expired on July 1st.

“It’s bad enough that House Republicans are so dysfunctional that they let student loan rates double, but now they’re just delusional if they think the American people won’t see through their plan to increase student loan interest rates over the long haul,” said Emily Bittner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Speaker Boehner and House Republicans can try to point their fingers at anyone else for student loan interest rates doubling, but they need to look in the mirror if they want to see who’s really to blame. It’s clear that Speaker Boehner and House Republicans are playing political games and standing with corporate special interests instead of supporting college students and middle class families to make college more affordable and accessible.”


AP: House Republican Plan Would Raise Student Loan Interest Rates Up to 8.5 Percent.
“Under the GOP proposal, student loans would be reset every year and based on 10-year Treasury notes, plus an added percentage. For instance, students who receive subsidized or unsubsidized Stafford student loans would pay the Treasury rate, plus 2.5 percentage points. Using Congressional Budget Office projections, that would translate to a 5 percent interest rate on Stafford loans in 2014, but the rate would climb to 7.7 percent for loans in 2023. Stafford loan rates would be capped at 8.5 percent, while loans for parents and graduate students would have a 10.5 percent ceiling under the GOP proposal.” Associated Press5/16/13

Under the House Republican Plan, Graduates Would Pay Almost $5,000 More in Student Loan Interest. 
“In real dollars, the GOP plan would cost students and families heavily, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. The office used the CBO projections for Treasury notes’ interest rates each year. Students who max out their subsidized Stafford loans over four years would pay $8,331 in interest payments under the Republican bill, and $3,450 if rates were kept at 3.4 percent. If rates were allowed to double in July, that amount would be $7,284 over the typical 10-year window to repay the maximum $19,000.” If the Republican plan were implemented, college graduates would pay $4,881 more in interest, compared to the current rate. Associated Press, 5/16/13

CBO: Federal Government Turns $51 Billion Profit on Student Loans.
According to the Huffington Post: “The Obama administration is forecast to turn a record $51 billion profit this year from student loan borrowers, a sum greater than the earnings of the nation’s most profitable companies and roughly equal to the combined net income of the four largest U.S. banks by assets. Figures made public Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office show that the nonpartisan agency increased its 2013 fiscal year profit forecast for the Department of Education by 43 percent to $50.6 billion from its February estimate of $35.5 billion.” Huffington Post5/14/13

Speaker Boehner’s Memo: More of the Same Failed Ideology from Republicans, Not Solutions

In a memo from Speaker John Boehner to Republican members of Congress, Boehner gives a blind assessment of his party that must have been written in a cave without any access to the news – as it ignores the public’s record disapproval of his Tea Party Congress and doubles down on their radical agenda. Boehner’s Republican Congress has taken the economy from chaos to cliffs to brinksmanship while opposing the Violence Against Women Act and even relief for Hurricane Sandy. Polling this month from Washington Post-ABC shows that 72 percent of Americans disapprove of the way Republicans in Congress are doing their job.

“Americans want solutions, yet Speaker Boehner just heralded his party’s stubborn resistance to compromise and their continued defiance of the will of the people,” said Jesse Ferguson of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “It’s crystal clear that Speaker Boehner cares more about his own job than creating jobs for the middle class. In 2014, the Tea Party House Republicans will face a referendum on their obstruction, dysfunction and radical agenda – and no sunny memo will paper over the vast chasm between Boehner and the American people.”

FACT CHECK: Speaker Boehner Falsely Claims Republicans Proposals Will Create Jobs

On ABC This Week, House Speaker John Boehner falsely claimed Republicans have a plan that will create jobs. He said, “My focus is on the Congress of the United States and trying to get our economy going again and producing jobs. That’s my focus.”

In reality, House Republicans led by Speaker Boehner have failed to pass a single bill that would produce jobs. Former John McCain economic advisor Mark Zandi said Republican proposals “won’t mean much for the economy and job market in the next year.” Just this week instead of focusing on growing the economy or reducing the deficit, Republicans brought a measure to the floor reaffirming ‘In God We Trust’ as the official motto of the U.S.


Republicans Have Not Produced Any Alternative Jobs Bills. “Republicans have not produced any alternative jobs bills, reflecting their arguments that past stimulus measures have not worked. Instead, they say that to create jobs it is crucial to roll back federal regulations, pass free-trade bills and cut spending.” [New York Times, 10/6/11]

Mark Zandi: Republican Proposals, Like Rolling Back Regulations, Will Not Create Jobs in the Next Year.  Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said the Republican proposals “won’t mean much for the economy and job market in the next year.”  He continued: “Given the high odds of another recession in the next few months, it is vital for Congress and the administration to provide some near-term support to the economy.”  [New York Times, 10/6/11]

Joel Prakken: Republican Proposals, Like Rolling Back Regulations, Will Have “Little Immediate Effect” on the Economy.  Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers, said the Republican proposals “would have little immediate effect” relative to a plan like the American Jobs Act which stimulates aggregate demand. [New York Times, 10/6/11]

Regulations Have Little Impact on Job Creation. “But is the claim that regulation kills jobs true? We asked experts, and most told us that while there is relatively little scholarship on the issue, the evidence so far is that the overall effect on jobs is minimal. Regulations do destroy some jobs, but they also create others. Mostly, they just shift jobs within the economy.The effects on jobs are negligible. They’re not job-creating or job-destroying on average,’ said Richard Morgenstern, who served in the EPA from the Reagan to Clinton years and is now at Resources for the Future, a nonpartisan think tank. […] ‘There are many instances of regulation causing a specific industry to lose jobs,’ said Roger Noll, co-director of the Program on Regulatory Policy at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. Noll cited outright bans of products—such as choloroflorocarbons or leaded gasoline—as the clearest examples. […] ‘The key point is that regulation affects the distribution of jobs among industries, but not the total number,’ said Noll.” [ProPublica, 9/21/11]

Nobel Prize Winning Economist: Reducing the Deficit Will Not Create Jobs. On September 7, 2011, Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz penned an op-ed in Politico. In the piece, Stiglitz noted that “reducing the deficit will restore the economy.” Stiglitz wrote: “You don’t create jobs and growth by firing workers and cutting spending. The reason that firms with access to capital are not investing and hiring is that there is insufficient demand for their products. Weakening demand — what austerity means — only discourages investment and hiring.” [Politico, Op-Ed, 9/7/11]

Reagan Aide: We Must Increase Aggregate Demand to Create Jobs. On August 16, 2011, former Reagan advisor Bruce Bartlett wrote: “The only policy that will really [create jobs] is an increase in aggregate demand. Aggregate demand simply means spending — spending by households, businesses and governments for consumption goods and services or investments in structures, machinery and equipment. At the moment, businesses don’t need to invest because their biggest problem is a lack of consumer demand, as a July 21 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York documented.” [New York Times, 8/16/11]

Republicans Shift Focus From Jobs to God. This week, House Republicans brought a measure  to the floor that “reaffirms ‘In God We Trust’ as the official motto of the United States and supports and encourages the public display of the national motto in all public buildings, public schools, and other government institutions.” [Roll Call, 10/31/11] 

In More than 300 days in the Majority, House Republicans Have Voted 17 Times Against Democratic initiatives to create jobs. [Democratic Leaders Press Office10/25/11]