Republicans talk jobs ahead of Obama's speech
September 8th, 2011
03:30 PM ET
3 years ago

Republicans talk jobs ahead of Obama's speech

Washington (CNN) – In back to back news conferences Thursday, rank and file Republicans pounced on President Barack Obama's jobs proposal, saying the president should instead focus on eliminating burdensome government regulations on small business owners.

Ahead of Thursday night's presidential address to a joint session of Congress, Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, took the first swing, demanding "details" on Obama's proposal.

"We want specifics," said Barrasso. "We want to hear that he understands the impact, the heavy wet blanket that regulations are on our job creators. We need to make it easier and cheaper for the private sector to create jobs and it seems what comes out of the White House makes it harder and more expensive to create private sector jobs."

Barrasso led nine Senate and House members from the Western Caucus, which represents states west of Kansas, as they presented their own plan for job creation. Their proposal would roll back regulations on things like pesticide permits, would eliminate what they call "backdoor cap and tax" regulations, and pushes for swift passage of a trio of Free Trade Agreements with Panama, Colombia, and South Korea. They say eliminating regulation and opening up more free trade would create more jobs than Mr. Obama's plan.

Just minutes after the Western Caucus ended their news conference, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, took to the same podium with another group of GOP senators to push their jobs agenda.

"No one blames the president for the economy he inherited, but he should take responsibility for his policies making it worse." said Alexander. "Republicans are ready to work with the president and to make it easier and cheaper to create private sector jobs. We've suggested a number of ways to do that: lower tax rates with fewer loopholes, fewer regulations."

Another issue that some Republicans are taking aim at, Obama's call to extend the payroll tax cut, which gives workers a two percent tax cut in their weekly paychecks. Senator John Thune, R-South Dakota, called it a sugar high and said he "was not a big fan of that when it happened last time."

"It's a $112 billion cost and it's also something that, in my view, is a very short term sort of sugar high, maybe get a very little economy pop in the near term but we ought to be focused on long term policies that will promote economic growth," Thune said.

Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who co-authored the original payroll tax break bill in 2010, said his support was conditioned on what was attached to the tax extension.

"Well it depends on whether it's conglomerated with a whole bunch of other things we can't support," said Hatch. "Most of us are for tax cuts and that would amount to a tax cut."

– Follow Xuan Thai on Twitter: @thaicnn


Filed under: Congress • Jobs • President Obama • Republicans
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Cosmo

    "...and it seems what comes out of the White House makes it harder and more expensive to create private sector jobs."

    We need specifics on this theory of yours Senator Barasso, not just conclusory opinion that fits the GOP party line of "let's just take away all regulations and America will return to the 1950's." No, Senator, it will return to the time of the Robber Barons followed by a revisit to the depths of the Depression.

    September 8, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. Jilli

    What a steaming pile of crap – deregulation will create jobs. Yeah, maybe in the industrial clean up industry and legal field. Look at how poorly BP performed in relation to our environment WITH regulations – can you imagine how reckless and negligent they'd be with less regulation?

    Boy, the top 2% have been on a "sugar high" for over 10 years now – where are all those jobs the "job creators" were supposed to provide with their tax cuts? Their "sugar" is costing us a fortune and is one of the primary causes of our deficit, but that's ok for the gop, it's just when the regular folks get something that they find the urge to object. Pathetic.

    The 2012 republican slogan..."We think you're stupid"

    September 8, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  3. Ryan NC

    Well, it seems that they already know what he's going to talk about... they certainly look and sound childish! Throwing tantra just because... Oh but maybe they are just trying to protect their lobbist's interests!

    September 8, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  4. Four and The Door

    "...we ought to be focused on long term policies that will promote economic growth," Thune said"
    _______________________________________________________________________________________
    Exactly correct. The "jobs" bills out of the Obama administration and the Democratic Senate ( and House when they had it ) have been loaded with only short-term impact strategies. That's not creating a healthy environment for American businesses. Companies hire based on longer term projections. If an improvement is expected to last 1 year or less, a company will not hire based on that.

    September 8, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. Woman In California

    EVERYONE knows by now what the [R]s meant when they campaigned on jobs. The meant Obama's job. That AIN'T going to happen. Let's get these UNAmerican scumbags OUT of office and BACK into the streets / bars where they came from.

    September 8, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  6. skarphace

    Once again, the Republicans show their true colors. Obama hasn't even given his jobs speech yet and already they are against his plan. Pathetic, disrespectful whiners, the lot of them.

    Democrats and moderates, PLEASE do not stay at home in 2012. America will regret it if you do.

    September 8, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  7. clarke

    Tell you what, I love my country, but I don't love what is going on between the GOP and DEMs. I t is getting old real fast, this lack of respect is disgraceful.

    September 8, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. a in austin

    It's ok to give tax breaks for the rich and corporations but when it comes to putting a few dollars in the pockets of Main Street to spend on necessities the answer is NO! Wake up voters -

    September 8, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  9. Texas Doc

    Maybe they should explain the reason that the economy seems to have tanked since they got elected to "improve" things. The only thing we should be talking about at this point is how to work around these sons of b's till we can get some folks elected who care about this country more than they care about their narrow minded and increasingly unpopular agenda.

    September 8, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. Russ

    I say why don't you morons bitching about the regulations get the work on fixing it. The President can't do it unless you morons start poposing your bright ideas and pass something. If he vetoes it then you can whine. What a bunch of stupid children we've elected to run this country. My two years olds don't fight as much as our Senators and Congressmen. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

    September 8, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  11. Jaywing

    What's with the headline, CNN? We all know that the republicans TALK about jobs. They simply don't do anything about jobs. In fact, why don't you simply be honest in your reporting and headline such a post as "Republicans Talk Jobs Once Again - But Will They Ever Take Any Action to Back It Up?"

    September 8, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  12. Tom

    You know what I'd really like to hear for a change? Some facts from politicians. You say that small businesses are dealing with unreasonable regulations. Fine. What are they? Give us some examples. Tell us why you don't think that deregulation just leads to the kind of corporate abuse we've seen in the past (toxic waste dumps, polluted rivers, etc.) Tell us why free trade isn't just going to ship more jobs overseas.

    Stop with the sound bites, and start discussing problems like adults.

    September 8, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  13. Nash

    Republicans want the President no only to lead but legislate or in other words do their jobs for them. This nonsense about specifics is just another way of thumping their noses at the President. What is amazing is that the media is falling in line with this line of BS. Never in the history of this country has a sitting President been asked to be both the President and Legislate for Congress. How much more do we need to hear before we throw these Republicans out of office?

    September 8, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  14. MedaBlkman

    RIGHT...............................key-word "repuks talk"...................lets see what there actions will be. A stupid pettie JOKE.

    September 8, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  15. vicpaq

    There were always disagreements with policy and tactics between the parties but at least there used to be some acknowledgement and honor to the decorum connected with the office of the President of the United States, the highest elected official in our democracy. Those memebers of Congress who have abandoned said honor and decorum by refusing to attend a joint session of Congress as requested by the President (and then crowing about it) are chipping away at any purity and honesty that might remain in a form of government already assaulted by decades of selfish greed and gleefully breaking the rules of the game. You were elected to do a job and one of the rules of the job requires you to attend meetings as requested. Like in boy scouts or girl scouts. If you don't show up, you shouldn't take home any badges.

    September 8, 2011 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  16. From God

    To Republicans

    This post is just to let these idiot Republicans know that I am watching and that have angered me. I have set events in motions (such as fires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes ++++ in Republican heartland states) that will make you humble and respectful to all mankind regardless of colour, status, sexual orientation. I have initiated these events to let you know that global warming and climate change are real and that you are a major cause.

    As a result of your arrogance, hateful thoughts, and irreparable harm you have committed against my people you will have to endure my will which includes most of your family and friends letting you know that they are gay or lesbians and with my consent can marry other gay and lesbians individuals, you cannot obstruct stem cell research as it at my vision for mankind and you must follow it, you must allow my people to benefit from the same government subsidized health insurance you currently enjoy by working for the Federal or State or Local governments, if you don’t you will no longer be allowed to benefit from government subsidized health insurance and will not be able to afford to purchase your own insurance and would eventually die in the street, you must acknowledge that rich people and corporations will have to pay their fare share, you cannot have premarital sex and you will answer to me if you have, you can only have sex to someone you are married too in order to make babies and not for pleasure, you can no longer deny evolution because it is my creation and if you do you will suffer reverse evolution and degenerate into a monkey.

    So my Republican children, heed these words of wisdom from me and correct your ways for I will judge you harshly at the gates of heaven if you don’t.

    Yours truly

    September 8, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  17. "The GOP biggest deception is getting the Poor and Middle class to believe they are out to help them"

    OMG, they are about as stupid as stupid gets!!! The GOP was voted in last November on the premise they would come in and talk about JOBS!! But what have they done for the last nine months? They focused on their effort on trying to derail the Presidents agenda by being obstructionist!!! They can all go sit the HECk down!!! I don't know why the media does not call these guys out for the lies they continue to tell. I mean seriously what have they done in the last nine months but tie up the process!!! Then who do they blame the President what a bunch of crap!! I am so sick of these idiots!!!

    September 8, 2011 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
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