|Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)“Today’s report is further evidence that Congress should be focusing on creating jobs and helping the middle class, not re-fighting old battles for political gain. Unfortunately, my Republican colleagues have decided they would rather focus their energy on political grandstanding and empty, partisan exercises that will not create a single job. As this report clearly shows, it’s time to move on and focus on jobs.
“To help spark the growth we need, the Senate will move next week to vote on a series of common-sense jobs bills, starting with a tax cut for small businesses that is designed to reward hiring and provide incentives for payroll growth. Unless Republicans are truly rooting for our economy to fail, there is simply no reason for them to oppose such common-sense jobs measures. With Americans in Nevada and around the country looking to their elected officials for results, putting Americans back to work should be our top priority, not Tea Party politics or partisan maneuvering.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
|Today’s report makes clear that we must keep working to create jobs, spur our economic growth, and restore security for our middle class.”There is no time to waste — the American people want us to work together on jobs now. Unfortunately, Republicans are wasting more time next week on another partisan vote to repeal patients’ rights and benefits — even as Americans’ top priority remains job creation.
“It’s time for Republicans to abandon their agenda of obstruction and delay, and work with Democrats to create jobs and strengthen the middle class.”
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)
“Today’s report shows the private sector clearly isn’t ‘doing fine’ and that President Obama’s policies have failed. The president bet on a failed ‘stimulus’ spending binge that led to 41 months of unemployment above 8 percent. He bet on a government takeover of health care that’s driving up costs and making it harder for small businesses to hire. He even bet taxpayer dollars on companies like Solyndra while blocking popular projects like Keystone XL that would create tens of thousands of new American jobs.
“The president needs to stop betting on his failed policies and start working with Republicans to remove government obstacles to job creation. We’ve passed more than 30 jobs bills – he should call on Senate Democrats to stop stalling them. Next week we’ll vote to fully repeal the president’s health care law. And before the month is out, we’ll vote on legislation to curtail excessive government regulations.
“The House will also act this month to boost economic growth and create jobs by preventing the largest tax hike in history and providing a fairer, simpler tax code that lowers rates and closes special interest loopholes. This tax hike is scheduled to hit small businesses on January 1, and is already casting a shadow over our economy that will continue to grow until the president works with us to stop it. We won’t wait to act.
“Republicans are listening to the American people and continuing to put economic growth and job creation front and center. We need the president and Senate Democrats to do the same.”
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis
“We have seen 28 straight months of private sector job growth, during which time our economy has added back close to 4.4 million private sector jobs, with nearly one million jobs added this year. We have added an average of 150,000 private sector jobs per month in 2012, continuing at the same steady pace as last year and with jobs being created across all sectors and regions of the country. Gross domestic product growth has now been positive for 11 consecutive quarters. We remain on a path toward stable and durable growth.
“We continue to face headwinds from the threat of recession in Europe, our largest trading partner. Though less demand from across the ocean could present challenges for our exporters as they work to create jobs here at home, U.S. exports to the European Union in the first quarter of the year were at the highest level since 1997. Also, fortunately, there are signs that European leaders are moving away from an austerity approach and toward stabilization and growth strategies that will have a positive impact on our own recovery and ease concerns at home.
“I’m encouraged by several developments here at home that will reduce uncertainty and help put more Americans back to work. Passage of a bipartisan highway bill shows Congress can work together to boost hiring in the construction sector. Approval of student loan relief will help more people finish their education and get the skills to make them employable in today’s competitive labor market. And the Supreme Court’s health care ruling will allow businesses to plan long-term strategies that will lead to more healthy workers who are critical to a healthy economy.
“This administration continues to work to promote the return of good jobs back to American communities. As wages spike in countries like China, more companies are discovering a cost advantage of bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States. That’s why it’s so important for Congress to encourage this in-sourcing trend and pass legislation to provide incentives for companies to bring jobs home and embrace the ‘Made in the USA’ label.
“While the private sector is creating jobs and corporate profits have never been higher, a big drag on our economy is the continued layoffs of teachers, firefighters and police officers. We should embrace the president’s proposal to put these Americans back to work, while giving additional tax cuts to small businesses that are key contributors to job creation.”
AFL-CIO Chairman Richard Trumka
For America’s working people, the economy is simply not delivering right now. The trend of slow job growth is both frustrating and heartbreaking. The economy added only 80,000 net new jobs last month – not nearly enough to bring unemployment down and fuel a robust recovery.
Republicans in Congress have responded to a massive jobs shortage and weak economy with obstructionism and dishonesty. They have repeatedly blocked public investment that would create jobs and spur growth, including President Obama’s American Jobs Act. They have held up countless necessary bills, including relief for student loans, by insisting on yet more tax cuts for the richest one percent and preserving existing tax breaks for outsourcers. They push a politics of austerity, which here and in Europe is strangling our economy.
Republican priorities are more tax cuts for the richest one percent and more layoffs for teachers and firefighters. The cruel reality is Mitt Romney and his Republican allies in Congress are willing to sabotage the recovery in the hope of scoring political points against the President.
Cutting back on policies that provide relief for millions of working families is not just bad policy, it’s immoral. Working people are willing to take the lead to get our economy back on track, but they need our policymakers to do their part. By investing in jobs, reconnecting wages to productivity growth and ending policies that ship jobs overseas, we can turn things around. The labor movement is committed to pushing for these deeper changes and reforms that bring us together and make America strong.
“American families are struggling. There is a lot of misery in America today, and these numbers understate what people are feeling and the amount of pain which is occurring in middle-class America. Not only is the 8.2 percent number unacceptably high and one that’s been in place now for over 41 months, but in addition, if you look at the broader analysis of people who are out of work or have dropped out of the workforce or that are underemployed in part-time jobs needing full-time work, it’s almost 15 percent of the American public. And then there are those that are working, but are working in jobs well beneath their skill level or working in multiple part-time jobs; kids that are coming out of college not being able to find work; veterans coming home not being able to do anything but stand in an unemployment line. These are very difficult times for the American people.
“There are other numbers that are troubling. The manufacturing reports of the last several weeks indicate that manufacturing is not growing either domestically or in our exports as we would have expected at this stage. And of course that’s a long-term trend that is very disturbing and troubling. The President’s policies have clearly not been successful in reigniting this economy, in putting people back to work, in opening up manufacturing plants across the country. The heartland industries where manufacturing occurs are struggling by virtue of policies on the part of the President that have not worked. The highest corporate tax rates in the world do not create jobs; highest regulatory burdens in our nation’s history—those do not create jobs; trade policies that have not opened up new markets for American goods, particularly in Latin America—those don’t create new jobs; failing to effectively crack down on China for cheating and stealing American jobs—that has not helped. The president’s policies have not gotten America working again. And the president is going to have to stand up and take responsibility for it. I know he’s been planning on going across the country and celebrating what he calls ‘forward.’ Well, forward doesn’t look a lot like forward to the millions and millions of families that are struggling today in this great country. It doesn’t have to be this way. The President doesn’t have a plan, hasn’t proposed any new ideas to get the economy going—just the same old ideas of the past that have failed.
“I have a plan. My plan calls for action that will get America working again and create good jobs, both near-term and long-term. It includes finally taking advantage of our energy resources, building the Keystone pipeline, making sure we create energy jobs, and we convince manufacturers that energy will be available and low cost in America. It means opening up new markets for American trade, particularly in Latin America where the opportunities are extraordinary. It means cracking down on China when they cheat and making sure they don’t steal our jobs unfairly. It means bringing our tax rates down—our marginal tax rates down—and cutting out the exemptions and deductions and loopholes that are unfair in many cases. In other cases, we’re going to limit those deductions and exemptions, so that we maintain our revenue through growth and through limiting of these special deals, but bring our tax rates down so they’re competitive and attractive for jobs to come back to America. It means having a government that sees its role as encouraging enterprise rather than crushing it with the burden of new and unnecessary regulation and with outmoded regulations that haven’t been cleaned up in years and years. And finally it means having a healthcare plan that focuses on bringing down the cost of healthcare for American families, not just adding new expenses and new taxes to the American people.
“This is a time for America to choose whether they want more of the same; whether unemployment above 8 percent month after month after month is satisfactory or not. It doesn’t have to be this way. America can do better and this kick in the gut has got to end.”