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GOP Eyes New Jobs Message

Tom Williams/Roll Call

A GOP leadership aide explained that the Conference is looking to shore up its credibility on job creation. Republicans spent much of the 111th Congress criticizing Democrats for not doing enough to turn the economy around.

“Everybody’s concern is that in the midst of this spending fight we get caught up and forget to talk about jobs,” a GOP leadership aide said, adding that it has occasionally appeared that the Republicans are simply “cutting for the sake of cutting and not cutting to reduce barriers to job growth.”

Democrats, however, dismissed Republican efforts to hit the reset button on the jobs message.

“I am disappointed that Republicans have not brought any jobs bills to the floor so far. The American people expect us to come together and solve our most pressing problems, especially getting people back to work,” Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said.

“But so far, Republicans have not offered a concrete plan and instead have solely focused on making arbitrary spending cuts that will cost jobs and harm our economy,” the Maryland Democrat added.

Hoyer continues to push the Democrats’ “Make It In America” economic agenda, while Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has held two “hearings” on job creation.

Several Democratic leadership aides said the issue of jobs is atop the Caucus’ talking points; leaders have told Members to weave the issue into their floor speeches and press releases and to criticize Republicans for lacking a job-creation plan.

Members seems to be following that directive. For instance, prior to Friday’s vote on a bill to eliminate a controversial home loan program, Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) slammed Republicans for ignoring jobs, saying the House has been in session for months “and not a single bill has come from our Republican colleagues on jobs.”

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