House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday that if Republican efforts to cut federal spending resulted in the loss of government jobs, "so be it."
At a press conference Tuesday, Politico reports that Boehner sought to justify his controversial statement by anchoring it to a highly inflated estimate of the number of federal employees.
"Over the last two years since President Obama has taken office, the federal government has added 200,000 new federal jobs," Boehner said, according to Politico. "If some of those jobs are lost in this, so be it. We're broke. It's time for us to get serious about how we're spending the nation's money."
As Politico points out, however, a Washington Post report from last year found that the number of executive-branch civilian workers had increased by only 20,000 since 2002, rising from 2.63 million to 2.65 million.
In the same press conference, Boehner also announced that the GOP would be willing to put all government programs "on the table" in the party's forthcoming budget proposal, which House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) later confirmed will include reductions in entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security.