Obama, GOP urge action on jobs legislation
September 17th, 2011
10:08 AM ET
3 years ago

Obama, GOP urge action on jobs legislation

Washington (CNN) – As Washington begins to debate the merits of President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs bill, both the White House and Republicans used their weekly addresses to urge legislative action aimed at creating jobs.

“Right now, we’ve got to get Congress to pass this jobs bill,” Obama said of his own jobs plan. “Everything in the American Jobs Act is the kind of idea that’s been supported by Democrats and Republicans before. And if they’re ideas you agree with, too, every one of you can help make it happen by telling your congressperson to pass this jobs bill right away.”

Obama’s jobs plan was unveiled last week, and includes a number of measures designed to increase hiring, including spending on infrastructure improvements and job training assistance.

The latest jobs numbers show the unemployment rate sitting at 9.1 percent, with the underemployment rate, which accounts for people who have stopped looking for work, much higher at 16.2 percent.

Republicans also encouraged action on jobs legislation in their weekly address, but blamed the economy's sluggish growth on government overreaching into the private sector.

“Small business owners are fighting every day to create and innovate, but continue to face government barriers to job creation,” said House Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam. “Among them: our unsustainable debt, the constant threat of higher taxes, and excessive regulations.”

As an example of government interference, Roskam cited the recent National Labor Relations Board ruling that Boeing abused labor laws by attempting to move a manufacturing plant to South Carolina, a right-to-work state.

Roskam argued the rollback of federal regulations would spur a significant boost in job growth.

“We can take common-sense steps like these and still have rules that look out for our health and safety," said Roskam. “What’s important is that these rules are effective and dependable. Job creators should be able to focus on their work – not on Washington’s busy-work.”

In his address, Obama suggested some Republicans were stalling on taking action on his jobs plan to gain politically.

“I know some of them would rather wait another year to wage another election than work together right now,” Obama said. “But most Americans don’t have the luxury of waiting. It was three years ago this week that a financial crisis on Wall Street made things much more difficult for working folks on Main Street. And too many are still hurting as a result.”


Filed under: Congress • Jobs • President Obama • Republicans
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. ThinkAgain

    And if the GOP blocks passage, do it using reconciliation. Bush did that to push through his tax cuts, which lead to our deficit problems; let's use reconciliation to get us out of the mess he and his failed policies created.

    September 17, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  2. NC

    Just vote for the Republican nominee for President in November 2012. It will all come together again, jobs, economy, and more jobs. Problem solved!

    September 17, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  3. Debra From Georgia

    This President is doing a fine job. You people better be careful about who you put in the whitehouse. They are for the Rich, and the middle class are nobody. If you want to continue sliding down the econonic scale. Well vote for the Republicans. These people do not care for the middle class. They only care about their rich buddies.

    September 17, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  4. Amir

    I like the expression above. :) When is brook on. Monday .. :) That's good I hope...........................wealth is measured in what you own not what you collect. What does it matter to the world if you win a battle and a little paper when you lost all right's to space. We just beat the prince of the power of air! :) By the way that green paper is not even yours. :) But hay maby you can go out and get credit from someone else. Have a great weekend cnn

    September 17, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  5. Dee

    Congress needs to pass the bill it will not only put people back to work but if they fixed highways and bridges it will also help buisness that have to furnace the materials so this will cause a ripple effect and help others. They need to stop playing games this is a good bill and needs to be passed.

    I am so tired of people blaming the President he looks like he is the only adult in the room who want to help americans who are out of work he can't do it alone it takes congress and everyone to chip in including the rich we have been paying our fair share.

    September 17, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. Dee

    Sorry for the typo furnish instead of furnace we all make mistakes sometime I am glad I caught it.

    September 17, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  7. A Kickin` Donkey

    People engaged in business enterprises that add to the collective well being of society derserve to exist and earn as much profit [via efficiency gains] as possible. They get to make use of roads, port, airports, public educated employees, a safe & stable country from wich to operate, That`s the implied contract. People who pretend that their bussieness didn`t leverage something paid for my a tax paying "worker bee" are fooling themselves.

    At some point squeezing wages to get more profit in the hands of shareholders and out of the hands of "worker bees" violates the contract. It throws off the balance. If corporations don`t have the good sense to respect the citizens, maybe the citizens should pass laws to demand that respect. Want to sell in the US?, want to do business in this stable country [no moammar to rip you off, no mafiaoso] then maybe we need to REQUIRE your company make the stuff here. The price customer pay is capped by the market and your labor cost will be higher than China, but wages will be higher for citizens. Trade access to the American market for jobs here and be DIRECT about the link. It`s call protectionism and we`ve done it before. In fact RR did it with machine tools. This time, it`s workers being protected.

    September 17, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
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