From NBC's Shawna Thomas
"So be it."
That's what House Speaker John Boehner said today when asked about the possibility of federal job losses as a result of the Fiscal Year 2011 funding bill that is currently being debated on the House floor.
In a GOP leadership press conference, Boehner was asked if he had an estimate on how many jobs could be lost as a result of the spending cuts House Republicans are seeking to various government programs.
His response: "Over the last two years since President Obama has taken office the federal government has added 200,000 new federal jobs. And if some of those jobs are lost in this, so be it. We're broke. It's time for us to get serious on how we're spending the nation's money."
Democrats quickly seized on the remarks by Boehner, who during the 2010 midterm season constantly hurled this phrase at Obama and the Democrats: "Where are the jobs?"
When asked about Boehner's comments today, Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ) responded, "What I wonder is, so what if it's aircraft controllers that make the skies safe?...So what if it's USDA meat inspectors that make sure the food supply is safe?... I think there's a lot of concern about that and this blithe assumption that anyone who works for the federal government must be part of waste fraud and abuse, maybe that should extend to the Congress as well as the federal work force. I think that's a very flip attitude about a very serious problem."
Andrews did say Congress needs to consider where there is redundancy in our government but still called the speaker's words "reckless rhetoric."
According to Politifact.com, Boehner's numbers may be off on how many jobs have been added to the federal government since President Barack Obama took office. Counting temporary workers who were hired to conduct the 2010 census the federal government increased by about 379,000 workers, as of June of 2010. However, when you subtract those temporary workers from that figure, you get an increase of about 46,000.