Anticipating the president's State of the Union address on Tuesday, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, called Obama's policies “pathetic” and implored him to “go in a new direction” to improve the economy.
“It sounds to me like the same old policies,” Boehner said on Fox News Sunday. “More spending and higher taxes and more regulations—the same policies that haven’t helped our economy, they’ve made it worse. And if that’s what the president’s going to talk about Tuesday night, I think it’s pathetic.”
Boehner brandished a list of 30 jobs bills passed by the House that he says Obama should consider folding into his agenda for the upcoming year, and he blamed Congress’ inactivity on the Senate, which hasn’t taken up any of those bills.
Boehner also dismissed claims that he’s often been stymied in his attempts to make deals with Obama by a small coalition of stubborn GOP freshmen, particularly those affiliated with the tea party.
“We have some members who always want to do more,” he said, but “the problem is getting the president to say yes.”
Asked about the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline project, which Obama declined to approve last week, Boehner refused to say whether Congress would attempt to attach the project to a payroll tax deal under discussion, saying only that “all options are on the table.”