- (Photo: Reuters)
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner lectured Barack Obama on the details of the Republican jobs plan after the president challenged the media to find the House proposal saying, "I haven't yet seen it."
In a Thursday telephone exchange, the Ohio Republican reminded the president that the House GOP had in fact sent him a jobs plan and had spoken with Obama's leadership team about the plan "on numerous occasions."
"The president was reminded of a memo written by GOP leaders outlining the specific areas where they believe common ground can be found," a release from the Speak of the House stated.
The memo – dated Sept. 16 and sent by Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) – contains a web link to their plan. Agenda items include reducing regulatory burdens, fixing the tax code and paying down America's debt.
The memo also asked the president to pursue "areas of common agreement" within his American Jobs Act. Those common ground areas include reducing the regulatory burdens on small business capital formation and reforming the Unemployment Insurance system with programs such as the "bridge to work" program.
Yet Obama, appearing with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak at a press conference before Thursday night's state dinner, charged that Republicans did not have a plan.
"I'm hoping that they actually put forward some proposals that indicate that they feel that sense of urgency about people – needing to put people back to work right now," he told reporters.
He also said that Republicans have been unwilling to work with him to "get something done."
But House Republicans on Wednesday passed free trade agreements with Panama, Columbia and South Korea. The deals were on both the president's and House GOP's agendas.
When Obama called Boehner Thursday to thank him for passing the agreements, Boehner recalled House Republicans' efforts to work with the president.
"The speaker also noted that a number of the president's ideas have already been acted on in the House, including a veterans hiring bill, trade agreements, and a three percent withholding bill approved by the Ways & Means Committee today that will be considered on the House floor this month," the release stated.
Deputy White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest released a statement after the exchange declining to comment on the conversation, but reintegrating the president's desire to work with Republicans to pass his jobs plan.
"The president has been very clear that he is willing to work with Democrats and Republicans to pass measures to create jobs and gets our economy moving," Earnest said in a statement. "As independent economists have said, the American Jobs Act is the only plan that will create jobs and help the economy now."
The plan was stalled by a bi-partisan effort in the Senate. The House has yet to consider the American Jobs Act, but has expressed interest in approving portions of the bill that do not include increasing taxes.