House Leadership Cheers and Jeers Latest Jobs Report

By John R Parkinson

May 6, 2011 12:35pm

ABC News’ John R. Parkinson (@jrpabcdc) reports:

Although the government’s monthly jobs report beat economists’ expectations by adding 244,000 jobs last month, the unemployment rate actually increased from 8.8 percent to 9.0 percent – a mixed result cheered and jeered today by top Congressional leadership.

Speaker of the House John Boehner noted that while “any improvement is welcome news, job growth in America is still nowhere close to what it should be.”

“Our economy continues to suffer from the uncertainty being caused for private-sector job creators by the Democrats who run Washington,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement. “Over the past month, rather than joining Republicans in focusing on policies that promote long-term economic growth to help balance the federal budget, the Democrats who control Washington have indicated they are planning to increase taxes and allow the government's spending binge to continue.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also highlighted the positive data, and called for investments in the future to create jobs. 

"Today's jobs report is a sign our economy continues to move in the right direction, with more Americans going back to work. But we must do more,” Pelosi, D-Calif., urged in a statement. “This is the time to invest in our future and America's middle class to bring down unemployment and spur our economic growth.” 

Pelosi continued to beat the Democratic drum that “Republicans have not offered a single jobs bill or rolled out a jobs agenda for 120 days,” and said that the legislative agenda of House Republicans has “actually risked jobs.” 

"Instead of acting to put people to work, Republicans have voted to end Medicare as we know it in order to give tax breaks to Big Oil, millionaires, and corporations that ship jobs overseas,” Pelosi said. “It's time to work together to create jobs, while responsibly reducing the deficit, strengthening the middle class, and growing the economy."

Boehner, however, contended that policies proposed by the White House and Senate Democrats are “causing renewed uncertainty for private-sector job creators, crowding out private investment and punishing small businesses and entrepreneurs who are willing to invest, expand, and take risks to create more American jobs.”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor also said the “announcement is good news,” while noting that it should serve as proof the government must not raise taxes.

“House Republicans are squarely focused on making Washington a partner to job creators rather than a barrier by pursuing pro-growth measures such as comprehensive reform of our tax code, reducing trade barriers, and increasing domestic energy production,” Cantor, R-Va., said. “We are taking every step possible to foster economic growth and get people back to work – and that starts by creating an environment where businesses will start hiring and America can continue to innovate, compete and lead.”

Cantor said there is “no doubt that high gas prices are hurting families across America,” and highlighted the GOP’s efforts to begin addressing domestic energy production “by passing legislation that maximizes energy production here at home, which will bring down gas prices and create jobs.”

"Additionally, we know that the debt and deficit situation threatens the long term strength of our country,” Cantor added. “With regard to the upcoming debt limit vote, at a time when we borrow 40 cents of every dollar we spend, any move to raise the debt limit must be accompanied by immediate spending cuts and binding reforms so that we don’t continue to push our country down the road to bankruptcy. We need real cuts and real reforms today without raising taxes so that we can begin to get our fiscal house in order, boost the economy and get people back to work." 

Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and House Democrats this week unveiled their Make it in America agenda, a series of bills they believe will help boost jobs in American manufacturing.

Hoyer, D-Maryland, said the report was “encouraging news for our economy,” but added that “the fact remains that millions are still out of work, at a time when high gas prices are putting a strain on every American family.”

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