Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton: Debt Deal ‘Sucking Money Out of Economy’

Aug 5, 2011 1:26pm

ABC News’ Devin Dwyer (@devindwyer) reports:  

Her colleagues have fled town for summer recess, but Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., says she’s staying put and rolling up her sleeves to do something about jobs. 

“I'm having a job fair next Tuesday at the Washington Convention Center, and it's going to help, because I'm going to have a hundred employers there, and all of them have to have jobs in order to come,” she told ABC News’ “Top Line.”  

Only residents of the district, where unemployment stands at nearly 12 percent, are eligible to attend, however. And though Norton said she’s optimistic about some new hires in her hometown, she’s glum about job growth prospects nationwide. 

“What makes the economy – our economy – grow? It is demand. There is no demand out there. In fact, we're sucking money out of the economy,” Norton said, referring to the compromise debt deal signed into law this week which will cut government spending by $1 trillion over the next decade. 

“The only people who are helping us at all are the private sector, and when they see what we have done, they're going to say, 'well, wait a minute. That's not – they're not pumping enough demand in there with the debt ceiling bill. We can't do it all by ourselves,'" she said.

“So I feel there will be a job stall, even though you're beginning to see the private sector pick up, and they're the reason that unemployment went down this month in the report we just had.”

As for those 4,000 FAA employees who spent the past 13 days off the clock, Norton said she’s gearing up to get them paid. 

“I am going to put in a bill when Congress reconvenes for back pay for the workers who've been out of pay,” she said. “That's not unprecedented. We did that when we shut down the government in 1995 and '96. Let's do it again.”

Watch the "Top Line" interview with Norton HERE.

We also analyzed the July jobs report and the menu of economic initiatives on table with National Journal economic correspondent Jim Tankersley.  Catch it HERE.

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