John Boehner Falsely Claims House Focused Squarely on Jobs and the Economy



John Boehner is seems bound and determined to prove that by saying over and over again that the Keystone XL pipeline is a jobs bill, that it will become a jobs bill. But it is not a jobs bill. It is a make TransCanada Corp and the Kochs rich bill – it will even make Boehner himself a little richer in the process.

At his weekly press briefing yesterday, in what is surely news to everyone, Boehner said the House, which has since 2009 obsessed over everything but jobs, is “squarely focused on jobs and the economy” (did not know anti-abortion bills created jobs!) and that it is the “Democrats [who] are dragging their feet”:


Our focus continues to be on the people’s priorities, which means more jobs and higher wages. Our economy has certainly shown some signs of progress, but most families aren’t seeing this improvement in their day-to-day lives. That’s why we’ve already passed bills to: build the Keystone pipeline, which would create, according to the State Department, up to 42,000 jobs; expand natural gas exports, which would create 45,000 new jobs; help small businesses hire more veterans; and restore the 40-hour workweek to help get people working full-time again.

And while Republicans continue to focus squarely on jobs and the economy, the Democrats are dragging their feet.

When Secretary Kerry was sworn in, he guaranteed – and he used that word, ‘guaranteed’ – a fair, transparent and accountable review of the Keystone pipeline. But now, the State Department is stonewalling and refusing to answer basic questions about its review. I am calling on Secretary Kerry to address this issue, and immediately deliver the transparency and accountability that he promised the American people.

The Keystone pipeline is going to mean tens of thousands of American jobs, and we’ll soon put this bipartisan bill approving this project on the president’s desk. He should reconsider his veto, and sign this jobs bill.

This is an egregious abuse of facts. Boehner and his party are opposed to everything the American people want and need, including jobs and higher wages.

Remember, Boehner once said he would rather kill himself than raise the minimum wage. Obama has challenged Republicans to raise the minimum wage and they refuse to do so. That Boehner can even say this with a straight face is beyond belief. But the facts belie his apparent sincerity.

The State Department – which Boehner has already tried to bypass – is reviewing the Keystone XL Pipeline application and what they have to say on the matter can be seen here. What Boehner is upset about is that the State Department isn’t telling him what he wants to hear, when he wants to hear it.

State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, in particular, was not able to make Boehner a happier, wealthier man on Tuesday when she spoke to the media (transcript here):

QUESTION: Yesterday was the deadline for the agencies to submit their Keystone evaluations. Can you tell us what’s going on with that, what’s the next step? Is there a deadline, a timeline now that’s been restarted?

MS. PSAKI: Well, as you noted, yesterday the Department of State notified just a couple of weeks ago, January 16th, that the eight agencies would have until February 2nd to provide their views with regard to the Keystone pipeline permit application. That, of course, was yesterday. We will treat the agencies’ replies as part of an internal interagency process. They’re not mandated by the executive order to provide their views on the national interest regarding the proposed project, but we were required to request their views. There’s not a deadline or a timeline. Of course, their views will be factored into the consideration process.
QUESTION: Did all eight actually submit by the deadline?

MS. PSAKI: We’re not going to confirm. We treat them as internal recommendations.

What is interesting is that the State Department and the Obama administration as a whole are being accused of being less than transparent, when Boehner himself is bald-faced lying about the Pipeline being a jobs bill, and being less than transparent about his own economic interests in the building of the pipeline. Nobody in the mainstream media wants to talk about those issues at all. You would never know Boehner stood to make money off the project.

Boehner repeatedly claims that it will create 42,000 jobs. And yes, that number is in the State Department report but in a far different context. As The Washington Post fact-check ruled, “Using the State Department math, it’s safe to say nearly 4,000 construction jobs will be created, at least temporarily. One could even say that 16,000 jobs would be or have been supported from direct spending on the project…” But those jobs, such as they are, are temporary. As the Post points out, “the impact is barely a ripple” in the economy.

It will create 35 permanent jobs. Even if it did create 42,000 jobs, however, in November of last year alone some 321,000 jobs were created, and 257,000 more just in January of this year. It is not as though Keystone-related jobs are the only jobs in the offing, which seems to be Boehner’s implication. The moment Republicans blocked Democratic attempts to turn Keystone XL into a real jobs bill, Boehner’s deception was exposed, yet he acts like it never happened.

His plan to ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) abroad is, like the pipeline, a sure-fire recipe for environmental disaster, polluting whatever the pipeline fails to pollute. Increased production also demands increased hydraulic fracking, something he is not eager to advertise. Fracking, because it is so harmful to humans and the environment, has been banned in Scotland an Wales and in 26 U.S. states.

What Boehner is actually saying is, “Hey, pass this legislation. I have huge profits at stake here!” All the while pretending he is doing it for us, and as though there is no conflict of interest at all.

Boehner has completely turned the tables on reality, positing Obama as the blockage in our economic recovery, when in fact it has been the House that has blocked every attempt by Obama to undo the damage wrought by the Bush administration in 2008.

Boehner’s words might resonate with the Fox News viewer, comfortably set in their alternate reality bubble, but he is speaking to the entire world and it is difficult to imagine at this point that this weekly charade is anything but political theater with the purpose of providing ready-made sound bites for Fox News’s endless feedback loop of deception.

Updated [12:35 pm] to reflect January job gains.

25 Replies to “John Boehner Falsely Claims House Focused Squarely on Jobs and the Economy”

  1. Questions still to be asked.

    1)Why has British Columbia refused to allow this pipeline over their territory?

    2)Why no discussion about just how toxic and corrosive this oil is compared to other crude? Fact: it will destroy any pipeline it flows in — thus the answer to 1.

    3)Why are Americans so anxious for this pipeline where all the risks are on the side of the US but all the benefits on the side of TransCanada, China, and the Koch Family. The risks are on the part of the American taxpayer who will pay the cleanup when, not if, the pipeline fails.

  2. Boehner will continue to recite this kind of BS until his retirement from congress in 2016. The hardest thing he has to do on a daily basis is keep a straight face while lying through his teeth.

  3. Every mention of Keystone in the media should include Boehner’s and others’ personal financial stake in the project.

  4. ‘restore the 40-hour workweek to help get people working full-time again’

    Talks out of both sides of his face – Americans want full time jobs – they don’t want their 35 hour week restored to a 40 hour workweek so corps and big business employers can cut their health care insurance compensation benefit.

    John Boehner will go down in history as one of the Republican’s prolific pathological liars (next to Palin, Walker, Christie, Cruz, Ryan, Scott, etc).

    How come they are not interested in creating a massive infrastructure improvement project which would help unemployed or underemployed Americans in all 50 states and create MILLIONs of good wage jobs? Why? Republicans’ wet dream would be if most Americans received Walmart wages.

  5. The co-conspirators in this farce are the media. They could care less if the Republicans lie, cheat, and steal. The Democrats need to counter louder these falsehoods. They are doing somewhat better but they need to be more aggressive.

  6. Someone needs to get a new record, these “Repub. jobs bills” is like getting leftover meals for years without anything new added.

    Throw the leftovers OUT, we are getting major gastritis from the rot the “repub.reich” keeps serving us.

  7. Boehner’s soundbites are for the MSM and Faux “News” to respew out to the public as if every word was the truth. Unfortunately, we have very few real journalists in the country today who would expose Boehner’s words for the BS that they are. The corporate owned media wouldn’t dare to tell it like it really is or their bosses would fire them and Fox “News” seldom if ever lets the truth slip from their lips.

  8. Yes. What we need is the GOP ending all taxes on the rich and corporations and raising sales taxes so that the middle class , poor and unfortunate bear the burden.It’s called “Drip Up to the rich” economics. And, of course, forget doing anything for our infrastructure, fire all the teachers and get rid of the minimum wage.

  9. Orange man, here are the XL jobs
    politifact calls the # of jobs FALSE

    So tell us how we will benefit?
    Keystone pipeline all risk and no reward
    “To make matters worse, TransCanada would not be liable for cleaning up the mess that Keystone XL will create. Because tar sands oil is not subject to the 8-cents-per-barrel excise tax that funds the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, American taxpayers would likely be forced to bear any clean-up costs.”

    Keystone PipeLIES Exposed: The Facts on Sticky Leaks, Billion Dollar Spills, and Dirty Air –

  10. Cuz voting to repeal the aha for the 57th time, investing the irs, reinvestigating Benghazi, fast and furious, suing the president, trying to oust holder from his job creates jobs for we the people!

  11. He must have slept through classes in geometry and economics – I’d say the focus was more like the obtuse angle of obstructionists.

  12. They have a few years to put legislation and judges in place ,once that happens its not whether you win or loose but how you play the game.

  13. I must have blinked. I missed the passing of a jobs bill. I saw an anti abortion bill, a repeal ACA bill, a keystone bill, etc. I most definitely did not see a jobs bill. I sure would like to see a bill to repair the infrastructure. The roads here are terrible. And then there is that thing called a budget, which is supposed to balance in TEN years, but even as it is put forth using those numbers, the math is incorrect. Too bad they are gutting education, because they really need refresher math.

  14. Boner is doing what the Koch boys tell him to do. The Kochs don’t give a damn about America or Americans, they only care about how much more money they can grab.

    FDR got this country back on its feet by building our infrastructure and that is what needs to be done today.

    We have bridges that are falling apart, they need to be repaired. The Interstate has areas that have broken concrete that has to be repaired. Sewer and water lines need to be repaired. In short, we need billions of dollars for those repairs and a hundred thousand or more of people doing the work.

    All Boner’s congress wants to do is twiddle their thumbs. They just waste time on BS. The only reason they won was that tens of thousands of voters were not permitted to vote! That needs to be overturned.

  15. How is Boehner or any other sitting member of Congress to profit from Keystone or its ancillary beneficiaries?
    Just asking since it was mentioned in the post.
    When we know we should get the word out. To me, it is a definite conflict of interest.

  16. Oil-Soaked Interest Groups Are Doing Their Best to Kill Mass Transit

    Fossil fuel-backed, billionaire-friendly interests are doing their best to kill any increase in the federal gas tax — in turn, hobbling efforts to boost mass transit or fix America’s crumbling infrastructure.

    Last Wednesday, a laundry list of about 50 anti-government groups, including the Koch Brothers-backed groups like Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Partners, and Club for Growth, sent a letter to Congress stating “strong opposition” to raising the gas tax. The tax, which has sat at 18.4 cents per gallon since 1993, finances the dwindling Highway Trust Fund and pays for roads and bridges around the country.

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