Obama, GOP urge action on jobs legislation
September 17th, 2011
10:08 AM ET
11 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. RJWTimes Bradford England

    Obama, I agree we need jobs, both in the state and private sector, but another 450 billion to the debt rolls. How are we going to pay for it?

    September 17, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  2. Little Jimmy Truth

    Obama enjoys talkings.

    September 17, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  3. diridi

    be tough, and stern...o.k, good luck....

    September 17, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  4. Squigman

    If you're out of work, and can not find gainful employment, dont be too quick to blame this man. Your situation came about because of greed and stupidity, that took hold of the country in the years 2000, to 2008. Two wars, unfunded. Tax cuts to the wealthy and unfunded prescription health plans. Add to this the subprime mortgage mess, and a total disregard for the middle class working people. The facts are hard to cover up, as much as the republican party would like to do. The mess was so great when this man took office that most people knew it was going to take years, not months to correct. Those who believe otherwise are either mentally challenged,or downright stupid. Grow up.

    September 17, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  5. terry,va

    If Obummie is right about the gain of 1.9 million jobs and he NEVER is right about jobs, each job would cost taxpayers $235,263. When is this fool going to realize government doesn't hire. Obummie is killing business with his ignorant policies. This job plan will NEVER pass. Even a lot of Dumbocraps are against it. The plan is for Obummie's sorry base of deadbeats on 3 years of unemployment and union thugs.

    September 17, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  6. Victoria

    there are two types of people in this world. Like in winnie the pooh, you are either a tigger or an Eeyore. Barack is a tigger, upbeat, positive bouncing around trying to get things done and make a positive difference. Republicans are Eeyores, whining, mopey, pesimists with no personality that sit around and get nothing done. which type of person do you want in office? He already explained how he would pay for this bill but repubs wont agree to that part because it hits THEM in the pocketbook! and actually heps the middle class. Doing nothing will get us nowhere. If you support this bill contact your elected officials and insist they get of their a$$es Obama 2012

    September 17, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  7. thomas

    New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is worried that high U.S. unemployment could lead to the same kind of riots here that have swept through Europe and North Africa.
    "You have a lot of kids graduating college, [who] can't find jobs," said Bloomberg, during his weekly radio show on Friday. "That's what happened in Cairo. That's what happened in Madrid. You don't want those kinds of riots here."
    Call your congressmen and tell him or her to support the Jobs Bill ! Doing something constructive , is better then doing nothing !

    Its time to put politics to the side and , motivate , innovate and actualize !

    September 17, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  8. Darrell

    RJWTimes Bradford England

    You and others keep asking how are going to pay for it. Yet, you and other refuse to recognize that we are giving away billions of tax payers money to millionaires and profitable corporations who don't actually need it.

    Please open your mind, and heart, to the idea of using that money to create jobs by hiring teachers and fixing roads & highways that we need.

    It is so silly, to me, that people still believe that giving away money to the rich and wealthy corporations solve problems, create jobs. It this was so true, why did the GWB administration's policies, which largely including tax breaks to the wealthy, nearly crash this economy and Am. capitalism as we know it.

    If you hate Obama, fine I don't have no problem with your feelings. But to not recognize and acknowledge the reality of the situation, well I have a big problem with that. If have to admit it: the wealthy are giving an advantage through our tax code which the Republicans are defending at the cause of actually creating jobs.

    September 17, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  9. carol

    yes we need more jobs but we need to bring back teaching high school kid a trade for today life, not over charging them to go to a college and after they graduate they are all ready in debt with student loans, teach them in high school, where it free. Bring back trade school so they can learn and not worry about how are they going to pay back a loan, they have to find a job first

    September 17, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  10. maf

    @terry, va Your bias is showing loud and clear! The President is NOT the one responsible for creating JOBS! Either you are too ignorant to accept that or you are too uneducated to understand it! The Congress is the branch of the administration that is responsible for getting this started. The party you so adamantly support campaigned in 2010 on JOBS. Since then, they have not introduced ONE JOBS BILL, not ONE! President OBAMA has tried to make the environment one that is more advantageous and receptive to job growth yet his efforts have been stonewalled by a party more interested in his (and AMERICA's) failure than getting people back to work! Get back on your meds, get out of the basement, go outside and view the situation for yourself! Your argument is weak and unsupported.

    September 17, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  11. terry,va

    Squigman, when are you fools going to quit blaming Bush? The economy is Obummie's. He made a bad economy into a TERRIBLE economy with his ignorant policies. Ronald Reagan cleaned up Jimmy Carter's mess in 2 years. The jobs he created and the increase in GDP through his policies are 10 fold over Obummie. Obummie is either more economically ignorant than Jimmy Carter or he is intentionally trying to destory this country.

    September 17, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  12. terry,va

    @Darrell...you are a complete idiot. You state that "we are giviing billions of taxpayer money to millionaires......." How is this? It is the millionaire's money and we give enough in taxes already. Remember the government takes money from people through taxes. In other words, it is my damn money. They don't give me anything. They just take mine and give it to others. Explain to me how people that don't pay any federal taxes get refunds? Explain to me how 50% of the country doesn't pay any federal taxes but yet have the same civil rights, drive on the same roads and have the same fire and police protection? Obummie is a stupid socialist who wants to take from people that worked to get ahead and give to those that don't.

    September 17, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  13. New Age Independant

    If the previous stimulus weren't simply a payout to Obama's big campaigners, ala George Kaiser largest shareholder of Solyndra, he might have been able to sell this to America. Instead, Obama has perpetuated one of the biggest scams in history. His record speaks for itself. Failure

    September 17, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  14. terry,va

    @maf...read my post to Darrell and you will see wheren I'm coming from. Sorry to disappoint you. I don't live in a basement, take meds, nor am ignorant. Quite the contrary. I have an MBA and am a self made millionaire. I hate to give my money to fools which is what you and Obummie want. How about you earning YOUR keep and not depend on me?

    September 17, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  15. Point


    "If [Obama] is right about the gain of 1.9 million jobs and he NEVER is right about jobs, each job would cost taxpayers $235,263"

    What do you suppose they build the roads and bridges out of, paper? You are obviously not a business owner. It costs more than the employees wages to hire a new worker. Lets say you hire someone to manufacture shovels. Your going to pay him 45K
    annual salary. Then you have payroll taxes, workers comp insurance, steel and wood for the shovel, whatever manufacturing equipment and maintenance on that equipment. I'm sure I'm missing something. My point is that 45K employee just cost 100k and shovels are easy and cheap to make. Roads and bridges require heavy machinery and lots of expensive steel and asphalt.

    September 17, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  16. bigwilliestyles

    @ terry, va: stop trying to pretend you're rich.

    September 17, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  17. bigwilliestyles

    Real rich people don't have time to waste blogging.

    September 17, 2011 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  18. Tony

    The GOP's plan is simple: more tax cuts. In case you are wondering if the Bush tax cuts (still in effect) and tax cuts in Obama's stimulus bill are creating jobs, the answer is no. But damn the facts, the GOP wants more tax cuts. This would force spending cuts because the government loses revenue from tax cuts and needs to make up for it with spending cuts (trust me, if you take a pay cut, your expenses do not go away). Spending cuts take money out of the economy, lead to more job losses and further depress the economy. But damn the economy, the GOP wants more tax cuts.

    September 17, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  19. Mark

    There’s almost nothing in his proposal that I agree with, but here are some of the ideas that bother me the most.

    Let’s start with his 50% reduction in payroll taxes as an incentive to hire new workers. This part of the plan TEMPORARILY reduces payroll taxes for both the employee and employer. The President’s rationale is that this will be an incentive for business owners to hire new employees because they’ll save some money on taxes (through the year end) and employees will take home a little more money because less is withheld to fund Social Security. The reality is that no sane employer is going to save a few dollars in taxes to offset the huge expense of hiring a new employee. The President clearly does not understand the costs of hiring employees.

    I also have a problem with the proposal I first heard him talk about in Detroit where he encouraged employers to reduce the salaries of current employees so companies could afford to hire additional workers. This is nothing short of insanity. Can you imagine an employer with 5 employees, each making $50,000 a year, going to his employees and saying, “I’m going to reduce each of your salaries by about $10,000 a year so I can hire another employee that we don’t really need.” I don’t think the President understands that companies hire employees only when they need work done. Hiring more staff than you need is a bad business decision. Reducing the salaries of current employees in order to do it is immoral.

    His talk about “shovel ready” projects that will put Americans to work right away is quite misleading also. The President goes on and on about how we’ll put thousands of people to work quickly by funding infrastructure projects on things like bridges and roads. I’m convinced that our President does not know that you can’t just throw shovels at projects like that. It takes months, if not years, for engineers, surveyors and other planners to properly identify what needs to be fixed, how it should be fixed and how to manage the project. Any “shovels” thrown into these projects will be idle because there will be no plan and no materials.

    I could go on, but you’ve probably get the idea by now.

    September 17, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  20. Atlanta Independent Voters

    Pass the bill that all to it do what the American people want to pass the bill. America cant wait for 14 months

    September 17, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  21. Point

    I wish republicans would get their facts straight. When Obama Took office we were loosing 800k jobs a month. Last month we lost ZERO. The auto industry was collapsing. They are again showing profits that they haven't seen since Clinton. The stock market was colapsing.The Dow Jones is now up more than 4K points. NASDAQ is up more than 1,300 points thats more than a 100% gain. The financial industry was on the verge of collapse. It has stabilized. The housing bubble burst. While it hasn't regained in most places foreclosures are down by a lot from their peak and new home construction is up in my small town. Consumer confidence is up. Corporate profits are up by 40%. But the world stage hasn't improved. The banking crisis in Europe and the turmoil in the Middle east are keeping gas prises high and the stock market volatile. My point being the economy is better in more ways than it is worse.

    September 17, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  22. HOPELESS...!

    Hopeless is as hopeless does....!Obama is asking for another blank cheque to write another $500million to
    failing companies....Congress say.."NO"

    September 17, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  23. DonVan

    GOP is dead wrong about too much "overreaching into the private sector". There was not enough oversight on the banking industry that created this financial mess.

    September 17, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  24. Doug

    Yup, read the comments from Democrat voters (i hope every Republican dies), Democrat congress (tea party wants to hang black people in trees), Democrat Vice President Biden (Tea party Americans are terrorists), and Democrat president Obama (every American right of center is the enemy/they all cling to their guns and religion), it is clear that any and every American with even a remote trace of decency has a moral obligation to vote Republican.

    The Democrats have committed genocide in our inner cities over the last 40 years with their complete rule of those poor areas, to be expected from the Democrat party, the party that started the klan. They want everyone poor, government dependent, and they want to strip us of all our rights.

    I support gay marriage, pro choice, and want to decriminalize drug abuse. However, I will never wish death or harm to my fellow American just because of their political views. Therefore I have no place in the Democrat hate party, where their congressmen and women have made comments a billion times more hateful, mean, dishonest, and partisan than Beck Limbaugh, Hannity, or even Coulter ever have. That's fact, quite telling that each Democrat believes that telling the truth and speaking facts makes you guilty of a hate crime.

    September 17, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  25. Alacnn

    What is the surprise, GOP? They lost their MOJO of being American, from a caring nation to who cares, me only bunch of idiots. Beoner worked like a captain with a sinking ship, and a batch of backgrounder like used care salesman. They are ringed in by an army of monkies.

    September 17, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
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