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Boehner Talks Jobs, Economy in GOP's Weekly Address

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

John A. Boehner raised eyebrows this week with comments openly mocking fellow Republicans , but the speaker was back on less-inflammatory rhetorical ground in Saturday's weekly GOP address.  

Boehner taped the address Friday at the Hartzell Propeller plant in Piqua, Ohio, roughly 25 miles north of Dayton, and he had one key message: It's time to create jobs.  

"I know why Americans are still asking the question ‘where are the jobs?’" Boehner said. "For the last five years, we’ve had an administration in Washington that acts as if everything can be done from the top down. From the stimulus to Obamacare, it’s a record littered with promises that never panned out — and pain for people trying to get by and meet a payroll." Boehner said Republicans are ready to improve job training, expand energy production, open new markets for small manufacturers and are ready to repeal and replace Obamacare.  

"The president said he wanted this to be a year of bipartisan action. Well, it still can be. We just need to get his party’s leaders in the Senate to take up our jobs bills," he said.  

Boehner also used the weekly address as an opportunity to remind Americans of the Republicans' accomplishments since taking control of the House, including a ban on earmarks, cuts to federal spending for two years running, the prevention of tax increases and the passage of three free trade agreements.  

"So imagine what we could do if the powers-that-be in Washington changed course," he said. "Imagine if they stopped treating our economy like a second language and started putting jobs first."  

President Barack Obama, meanwhile, has pushed the GOP to embrace an unemployment extension and increase the minimum wage. Boehner's full address:

Good morning. I’m speaking to you from the Hartzell Propeller plant here in Piqua, Ohio. This is about 25 miles north of Dayton, Ohio, the birthplace of aviation. Hartzell has come a long way since working with Orville Wright himself. They now maintain 75 percent of the world’s market in propellers. And while they have big plans, Hartzell is like any small business facing an uncertain future. What I heard here – and what I hear everywhere I go – is that we need to get the federal government out of the way. Having run a small business myself, I see where these folks are coming from. I know why Americans are still asking the question ‘where are the jobs?’ For the last five years, we’ve had an administration in Washington that acts as if everything can be done from the top down. From the ‘stimulus’ to ObamaCare, it’s a record littered with promises that never panned out. And pain for people trying to get by and meet a payroll. Republicans, we’ve kept our pledge, we’ve offered a new way forward. Our majority in the House has made your priorities our priorities. And every week, we're focused on passing initiatives that would make it easier to find jobs and create jobs at places just like this. We’re ready to improve job training programs so workers can acquire the right skills; expand production of American-made energy to lower costs; open new markets for small manufacturers; and repeal and replace ObamaCare. The president said he wanted this to be a year of bipartisan action. Well, it still can be. We just need to get his party’s leaders in the Senate to take up our jobs bills. While Republicans may be the minority party in Washington, with your help, we've made some headway. We’ve banned earmarks and, for the first time since the Korean War, we’ve cut total federal spending for two years running. We’ve protected 99 percent of Americans from permanent tax increases. We’ve taken the politics out of student loans, making it easier to pay for college. And we’ve passed three free trade agreements that are already paying big dividends for our economy. So imagine what we could do if the powers-that-be in Washington changed course. Imagine if they stopped treating our economy like a second language and started putting jobs first. Just ask the people here at Hartzell. Last week, I spotted one of their propellers on a military plane over in Afghanistan. I can’t tell you how proud I was of every worker here in Miami County. And how honored I am to be their voice in Washington. Talking with the people here, I realize we are walking towards a great opportunity. Instead of slogging on and settling, we can take the path of freedom and prosperity. It leads to an America where we, the people – not the government – shape our destiny. An America where honesty and initiative are cherished. An America of pride and purpose. I ask you to join us in this pursuit, and I thank you for listening.