Estimates that 300-400,000 jobs would be lost in the month of June were dwarfed by the actual count of 467,000 jobs lost last month. That brings the total to over 2 million jobs lost since the $1.2 trillion Obama-Pelosi-Reid stimulus bill was rammed through Congress by Democrats before anyone was allowed to read it. The 9.5% unemployment rate is the worst in the over 25 years since President Ronald Reagan had to deal with the aftermath of the disastrous Jimmy Carter presidency: a hat trick of double digit inflation, interest rates and unemployment.
Reaction to the dismal economic news began pouring in this morning from all parts of the country as Congress is in recess for their annual 4th of July district work period.
Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), the House Republican Leader, weighed in:
“Today’s employment report reminds us that spending, taxing, and borrowing with reckless abandon is no way to create more jobs, yet that is exactly what Democrats in charge of Washington have done all year long,” Boehner said. “Middle-class families and small businesses are hurting, and they’re looking to Washington for real solutions that won’t raise their taxes and drive future generations into even deeper debt. … It’s time for Democrats to admit that more spending, more taxes, and more reckless borrowing isn’t ‘change.’ That’s the same failed formula that has cost Americans their jobs in the past, and it’s costing them their jobs once again. We must do better, and that starts with Democrats working with Republicans to help families and small businesses emerge from this economic crisis.”
From Indiana, Rep. Mike Pence, chairman of the House Republican Conference, talked about cutting spending.
“At a time when families are struggling to make ends meet, the rising unemployment rate is further evidence that we cannot borrow and spend and bail our way back to a growing economy,” Pence said. “Congress should be doing what every American family is doing during these tough economic times: cutting expenses, and making sacrifices. Instead, Washington is pushing for more spending, more debt and higher taxes, all on the backs of our nation’s taxpayers.”
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the House Republican Whip, spoke about a focus on job creation.
“As job losses continue to mount, families’ worries about losing their healthcare, paying their mortgage, and sending their children to college continues to intensify,” Cantor said. “Employment must be our focus, yet Speaker Pelosi and the unchecked Democrat majorities continue to increase Washington’s hand in the free market, at the expense of job creation. At some point, even the Speaker must realize that enough is enough. Republicans will continue to offer innovative solutions that put job creation first, and we hope that fair minded, centrist Democrats concerned about the direction this Congress has taken will work together with us."
Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), ranking Republican on the Ways and Means Committee, talked about the impact on the real families behind these numbers.
“American workers didn’t need to wait for the latest jobs report to know that the President’s trillion dollar spending bill is not creating jobs,” Camp said. “At 9.5 percent in June, our current unemployment rate is 1.6 percentage points higher than the President said it would be with his so-called stimulus bill. These aren’t just numbers — they are families struggling to get by without a paycheck. Right now there are 2.5 million more Americans unemployed than the President said there would be under his plan. Clearly, the President’s plan is not working. Instead of ‘saving or creating’ 3.5 million jobs, the country has lost 2 million jobs since the President signed the stimulus bill into law in February.”
“Despite the hardships millions of Americans are facing, the President continues to pressure Congress to rush through new energy and health care taxes that will further drive up costs for families, harm our economy, and destroy jobs,” Camp added. “We can and should solve the nation’s energy and health care needs without bankrupting families, businesses and the Nation.”
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) talked about the failure of runaway borrowing and spending.
“Today’s record job loss shows what a failure the stimulus and bailouts have been,” DeMint said. “You cannot borrow, spend, and tax your way to prosperity. After six months of forcing through a trillion dollars in wasteful spending, record deficits, and takeovers of our financial and auto industries, unemployment keeps climbing and more Americans are hurting. But now Democrats and the President are trying to rush through even more job killing policies by taking over our energy and health care industries. Americans are suffering in this economy and it’s the worst time to rush through an electricity tax that would cost families $3,000 more a year they can’t afford. And no American wants the same government that is running our economy into the ditch to takeover their health care and ration their access to doctors. After 2.6 million jobs lost this year, I hope President Obama is finally willing to listen to proven solutions that can get our economy moving again.”
The Senate is back in session on Monday, July 6th and the House is back on Tuesday.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee spoke at length once again late yesterday about the lack of cooperation from the White House in fulfilling document requests to facilitate the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonya Sotomayor. The hearings are slated to be held June 13th in the most truncated confirmation process in recent history.
In what can only be termed a cover-up, the White House is stonewalling the bipartisan request for release of contemporaneous documents pertaining to Sotomayor’s time in senior positions with the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDF) and other documentation related to her controversial work history. The White House is refusing to release the documents saying they are “irrelevant.”
“Judge Sotomayor served in senior leadership roles at the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund for 12 years,” Sessions said. “We know that she served as the Chair of the organization’s Litigation Committee, Vice President of the Board of Directors, and in other senior positions. Given these leadership positions, it is not ‘unusual’ that the Committee would want to know more about her role in the organization.”
“During her time there, the organization took extreme positions on legal issues ranging from the death penalty to abortion to racial quotas,” Sessions continued. “It is absurd for the White House to say that documents relating to her work there — requested in a bipartisan letter from Chairman Leahy and myself — are not relevant.”
“Case in point: The New Haven firefighters discrimination case,” Sessions said. “In one of her most controversial decisions, Judge Sotomayor sided with the City of New Haven’s decision to throw out the promotions of 18 firefighters based on race, and denied the firefighters their day in court. The Supreme Court overturned Judge Sotomayor’s decision and said that New Haven violated the firefighters’ civil rights. In her legal opinion, Judge Sotomayor provided no rationale for her controversial decision.”
“The PRLDEF documents may provide insight into her judicial approach,” Sessions continued. “During Judge Sotomayor’s time at PRLDEF, the organization launched a series of legal actions to throw out the test results for other city employees on the basis of race — just like in the New Haven case. What role did Judge Sotomayor play in the decision to bring these cases? What do these activities mean in light of Judge Sotomayor’s statement that her experiences influence her rulings as a judge? The American people have a right to know this important information about President Obama’s nominee.”
“PRLDEF has reviewed only three of more than 300 boxes of materials, and from that we have received only 300 pages of documents,” Sessions concluded. “This is unacceptable. Rather than simply defend PRLDEF, the White House should respect the Judiciary Committee’s important bipartisan request that these documents be delivered to the Committee in a timely manner so they can be reviewed before Judge Sotomayor’s hearing, which is now just five legislative days away.”
What is the White House trying to hide?
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