Ohio Representative John Boehner said Sunday the debate on whether to repeal the military's ban on open gay service would “distract” from real issues.

Boehner, a Republican, made his comments on NBC's Meet The Press.

“In the middle of two wars and in the middle of this giant security threat, why would we want to get into this debate?” Boehner rhetorically asked David Gregory.

President Obama called for an end to the 1993 law that prohibits gay and lesbian service members from revealing their sexuality at the risk of losing their jobs during his first State of the Union address on Wednesday.

“This year I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are,” Obama said.

Boehner, however, disagreed: “At a time when Americans are asking 'where are the jobs,' why do we want to get in this debate?”

“While we're fighting over health care and trying to find some way to come to some common ground, why do we want to get into a divisive debate that will do nothing more than distract [from] the real debate that should occur here about helping to get our economy going again and getting American people back to work?”

Other Republicans are singing a similar tune of bad timing. Arizona Senator John McCain also called the policy “successful.”

“At a time when our Armed Forces are fighting and sacrificing on the battlefield, now is not the time to abandon the policy,” McCain said in a statement released immediately after the president's call for an end to the law.

On Tuesday, Congress is expected to hear testimony from top Pentagon officials on the policy, commonly known as “don't ask, don't tell.”

A recent UCLA study found 66,000 gay, lesbian and bisexual people are currently serving in the Armed Forces, approximately 2.2% of all military personnel, and the military has spent up to $500 million implementing the gay ban.