Speaker John A. Boehner had a bit of advice for President Barack Obama on Thursday morning as the president tries to change the conversation from the problems with Obamacare to just about anything else: Do something to create private sector jobs.
“Listen: I don't usually ever do this, but I think I ought to give the president a little advice. You know, if he wants to start building back the American people’s trust, he needs to stop expanding the role of our government and do something — how 'bout anything? — to help create American private sector create jobs," the Ohio Republican said during his weekly news conference.
Boehner urged Obama to support energy legislation that has passed in the House but has not seen action in the Senate.
"Or he could rein in the regulations that are strangling our economy. Or he could delay this health care law," Boehner said.
Boehner's advice comes after a long string of bad news for HealthCare.gov and Obama's oft-repeated promise that "if you like your health care plan, you can keep it."
"I think it's now obvious that the reality of the president's health care law simply doesn't match the promises the president made to the American people himself," Boehner said.
"Every day, we hear heart-wrenching stories from Americans who are getting letters about their health care plans being canceled, or the cost of their new plans is skyrocketing, or they can't keep their doctors," he said. "As a result, I think, the American people are losing confidence in this administration."
Boehner's pivot back to jobs and what the president and the Senate aren't doing is, in many ways, a convenient pivot for him and Republicans, too.
With only nine legislative days left in the year, Democrats lambasted House Republicans on Thursday morning for not having finished a host of issues, including the budget conference, the Employee Non-Discrimination Act, the farm bill conference, tax extender legislation, "and yes," as Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., put it, "we ought to deal with comprehensive immigration reform."
Boehner is also dealing with a House GOP public relations issue after freshman Republican Trey Radel of Florida was charged with possession of cocaine.
Boehner told reporters Thursday that the Radel incident was "between he, his family and his constituents."
Pressed specifically if he would remove Radel from any committees or issue any sort of penalty, Boehner repeated the line.
"This is between he, his family and his constituents," Boehner said.