Boehner pokes Obama on his 'startup' agenda

An exasperated Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday tried to drive a wedge between President Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate, pointing out that a series of jobs bills the president endorsed have already passed the House.

Boehner used his weekly press conference to respond to the “Startup America” initiative the president announced this week, in which the White House said Obama was sending to Congress legislative proposals to help small businesses and new companies.

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House Republicans have noted with glee that they have already passed four of the bills Obama is “sending up.”

“Well guess what, Mr. President? We’ve done our work,” Boehner told reporters, employing a mocking tone that he's used repeatedly in recent weeks when discussing the president’s agenda. “Call [Majority Leader] Harry Reid [D-Nev.] and see if the Senate’s ever going to do anything over there.”

Boehner held up each of the House-passed bills, which aim to make it easier for small businesses to access capital and attract new investors. Two bills would extend tax write-offs for small businesses and expedite the visa system for foreign workers.

“These are some areas of common ground,” Boehner said. “I think American small businesses are counting on us to provide some relief even in an election year. House Republicans have done our work, and we are going to continue to, but we need to have a willing partner.”