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Ethan Rome Headshot

Obama Offers Jobs, Boehner Offers Sabotage

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House Speaker John Boehner is leading what is arguably the most anti-jobs Congress in modern history, and he and his co-conspirators in the Senate have been systematically sabotaging the economy and the opportunity for millions of Americans to go back to work.

In his speech at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois today, the president talked about making the economy a priority. He talked about the progress made over the last several years, but acknowledged that, "we've got more work to do." He made a simple offer to the Republicans: Let's drop the politics and work together to improve our economy and grow the middle class. The Democrats are ready. Are you?

Unfortunately, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and John Boehner were quick to say "no." In fact, Boehner dumped on the speech before it was even delivered, calling it "an Easter egg with no candy in it."

And what have the Republicans proposed instead? Nothing. In fact, their actions and non-actions have actively hurt the economy.

As the president said, the Republicans have blocked jobs. They threatened to shut down the government and bring the economy to a halt, costing millions of jobs. They've taken a "meat cleaver" to critical protections and public services. The Republican gridlock has meant that nothing has been done.

The Huffington Post's Amanda Terkel points outs Boehner is an overachiever when it comes to doing nothing. As the president said, "You can't just be against something, you've got to be for something."

But the Republicans have stood in the way of helping Americans who are looking for work as well as the small businesses that need more business.

In a review of the record, MSNBC's Ari Melber shows that as of the end of May of this year, House Republicans have taken exactly one vote on jobs legislation. Instead, their top priority has been spending cuts and promoting austerity economic policies that have failed here and abroad. That's why Boehner today spouted nothing but empty partisan criticism about the President's speech.

Boehner and his comrades talk incessantly about what they call the "job-killing" Affordable Care Act, taking "meaningless" repeal votes, said the president. Unbelievably, Boehner has now said out loud that they have no plans to propose an alternative to the program as they've promised since passage of the landmark law.

The significance of the House Republicans' political theater is that they have been committing vandalism on both the ACA and the American economy.

In the case of the ACA, the Republicans have been actively trying to undermine its implementation and take away every benefit and consumer protection in the law. They're working to put every senior and family at the mercy of the insurance industry and return to the days when insurance companies could deny our care and jack up our rates whenever they pleased.

With jobs, the Republicans have been against more of them simply because of rank partisan politics. That's cruel and unconscionable.

This all goes back to Mitch McConnell's infamous statement in 2010 that his top priority in the next Congress would be to make Barack Obama a one-term president. They're not just trying to win in 2014. They're still trying to hurt the president, not create jobs.