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Jobless Rate Drops Below 8 Percent; GOP Not Impressed

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo

Republican leaders sought to downplay positive economic news today, saying that although the drop in the unemployment rate was welcome, President Barack Obama should be doing more.

The unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent, the lowest in four years, as the economy added 114,000 jobs in September, according to the Labor Department.

Speaker John Boehner released a statement calling on Obama and Senate Democrats to work with House Republicans on jobs legislation, which he asserts would have even better effects on the economy.

"While there is positive news in today's report, job creation is far too slow and the unemployment rate is far too high," the Ohio Republican said in a statement. "Middle-class families deserve better than perpetually high unemployment. We can strengthen our economy and help get the American people back to work - but it's going to take leadership from the White House. And today, we're just not seeing any."

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) also piled on. "While today's unemployment report offered some encouraging news, it simply isn't good enough. 7.8 percent unemployment should not be cause for celebration. Millions have given up looking for a job, and left the workforce. The workforce participation rate hasn't been this low since Jimmy Carter was president. America needs a new direction."

Despite Cantor's assertion, the jobs report noted that the drop in unemployment was not caused by the long-term unemployed giving up on finding jobs. Instead, the report said the labor force actually expanded.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, however, said it is House Republicans who refuse to do the work necessary to revive the economy.

"Congress should be in session right now working to create jobs and grow our economy. Yet, rather than do the work of the American people, Republicans decided to head home early to campaign - without extending middle class tax cuts, without acting to prevent the fiscal cliff, and without passing a jobs agenda. This uncertainty undermines the middle class and our economy," the California Democrat said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Congressional Leadership Fund, a GOP super PAC, announced that it is launching robocalls against targeted Democrats in 15 Congressional races using Vice President Joseph Biden's recent comments that the middle class has been buried for the past four years.

"Democrats deserve to be held responsible for the policies that are burying the middle class and will lead to lost jobs and higher family costs," CLF Communications Director Dan Conston said in an email. "In this last month, we'll make sure they are."

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