GOP Uses Jobs Report to Argue for Change

Posted October 8, 2010 at 10:07am

Congressional Republicans on Friday used the nation’s latest jobs report to further their case that Democratic attempts to reinvigorate the economy have failed and that they should be put in charge.

The Department of Labor said that the unemployment rate last month held at 9.6 percent and that some 95,000 jobs were shed.

“This report is not only the final affirmation of the failed job-killing policies of Washington Democrats, but it frames the national political debate from now until Election Day,” said National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas). “There is now no doubt that this election will be a referendum on the Obama-Pelosi agenda that has created chronic unemployment and paralyzed the free enterprise system.”

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) echoed Sessions’ remarks.

“Rather than saddling job creators with more red tape and standing idle as taxpayers face the largest tax increase in history, the President must listen to the American people and focus on creating jobs,” Cornyn said in his statement. ” Where statistics, economists, and employers have failed to convince the White House to change course, hopefully the collective voice of the American people in November will succeed.”

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) used the job figures to promote the Republican governing agenda, while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) criticized Congressional Democrats for adjourning before holding a vote an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts.

“This disappointing jobs report demonstrates the pressing need to immediately enact the Pledge to America and help end the uncertainty caused by Washington Democrats’ out-of-control spending spree and job-killing policies,” Boehner said in a statement.

“After working tirelessly to expand the reach of government, the Democrat leadership in Congress left town without doing the single most important thing they could have done for jobs: preventing a massive new tax increase on families and small businesses,” McConnell said in his statement. “As a result, all taxpayers are now facing a tax hike — exactly the wrong prescription for turning around the unacceptably high unemployment rate we’ve seen again today.”

But Democrats countered by arguing that Republican proposals would only worsen the nation’s economy.

“Congressman Boehner and Congressional Republicans are pledging to protect tax loopholes that send American jobs overseas and to give bonuses to millionaires and billionaires that will cost Americans 700 billion dollars,” said Nadeam Elshami, a spokesman for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). “That’s a pledge that Americans can’t afford because they want to go back to the failed economic policies that put the corporate special interests ahead of the middle class.”

Congressional Democratic leaders were slower to respond to the numbers than Republicans, but at least one Member pointed to the private-sector job growth as a sign the economy is making progress. The private sector added 64,000 jobs in September.

“We now have nine straight months of private sector job gains,” said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), the chairwoman of the Joint Economic Committee. “We are making solid progress. Though the job growth is not happening as fast as we would like, it’s better than a year ago, and a whole lot better than would have been the case without the Recovery Act.”