Democratic Congressman Calls Effort to Defund Health Care Law ‘Short Sighted’, Believes Law Will Create 4 Million Jobs

By Nicholas Ballasy | February 21, 2011 | 1:45 PM EST

( - Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) says "absolutely no one" wants to see the government shut down, and he said he hopes such a situation can be avoided. asked Johnson if the Democrats are ready to shut down the government over the Republicans’ effort to defund the health care law. “Do you think Democrats should be ready to resist this bill, the appropriations bill, the CR (continuing resolution) specifically, with no funding and shut down the government?” asked.

“No, no one wants to see the government shut down, absolutely no one -- and I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to reach agreements in a bipartisan way so that we can keep the government operating without interruption and that we can solve our long term fiscal crisis in a way that will not hurt our ongoing economic recovery which depends of course on jobs,” he told last week on Capitol Hill.

“If we’re putting people off the job, if we are creating conditions where people lose their jobs then we are hurting our economy and so it’s really all about jobs and I’ll tell you, I think it’s short sighted to cut funding for implementation of the health care reform law that Congress has passed because that law which brings about 34 million more people into the health care equation, people are able to get health care because they have some insurance, 34 million new people, what we’re talking about is about 4 million new jobs.”

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.)

Johnson continued, “Jobs is what we need during an economic recovery like the one that we are going through right now and so I think we should look at it from a holistic standpoint. Some people were opposed to health care. It passed. It’s the law. Let’s move forward. Let’s not go back and re-litigate the past.”


Last February, then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed that the health care law would create 4 million jobs overall and 400,000 “almost immediately.”

Last week, Congressional Budget Office (CBO) director Douglas Elmendorf told the House Budget Committee that the health care law would reduce the number of full time jobs by 800,000.