House Speaker John Boehner’s office says he seized the opportunity Thursday afternoon to directly challenge President Obama on his assertion that the GOP has no plan for creating jobs. The exchange occurred when Obama called the Ohio Republican to congratulate him for Wednesday's passage of trade compacts with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.
“I want to make sure you have all the facts,” Boehner told the president about House Republican jobs-creation efforts, according to Boehner's office.
Boehner then went about “reminding” Obama that House Republicans put forth a “plan for America’s job creators” in May and of conversations between House GOP leaders and the White House about the plan.
White House spokesman Joshua Earnest confirmed that Obama called Boehner “to thank him for his efforts to help pass the three trade agreements.”
“We won't comment on their specific conversation,” said Earnest.
According to Boehner’s office, the speaker also told Obama that when he sent his jobs bill to Congress, Republicans pledged to give it consideration and have done so.
Boehner reportedly noted that the House has already acted upon elements of Obama’s plan, including a bill encouraging employers to hire veterans, trade agreements, and a 3 percent withholding bill approved by the House Ways and Means Committee Thursday that is to be considered on the House floor this month.
Boehner and Obama then went on to discuss transportation and infrastructure, which Boehner said he wants to address in a “fiscally-responsible way,” according to Boehner's office.
“The president has been very clear that he is willing to work with Democrats and Republicans to pass measures to create jobs and get our economy moving,” Earnest responded, adding that “independent economists” have said Obama’s jobs plan “is the only plan that will create jobs and help the economy now.”