TIMOTHY NOAH SEPTEMBER 15, 2011
More from House Speaker John Boehner's jobs speech to the Economic Club of Washington:
"I’m not opposed to responsible spending to repair and improve infrastructure. But if we want to do it in a way that truly supports long-term economic growth and job creation, let’s link the next highway bill to an expansion of American-made energy production.
"Removing some of the unnecessary government barriers that prevent our country from utilizing its vast energy resources could create millions of new jobs.
"There’s a natural link between the two: as we develop new sources of American energy, we’re going to need modern infrastructure to bring that energy to the market."
So the price of passing the long-term highway bill (Boehner called it the "next" bill because the House just passed a short-term funding extension) will be "drill baby, drill." Before what House Republicans wanted was budget cuts. Now they'll settle for more oil drilling. Is it too much to hope that House Republicans are becoming less insistent about cutting domestic discretionary spending to ribbons because their constituents are screaming about unemployment? Or are House Republicans merely increasing their demands?