|Rep. Engel is fighting for a jobs bill.|
Rep. Eliot Engel sent out a statement today blasting the Republican House Majority because they have yet to fulfill a promise to produce a jobs bill.
"Instead of putting the resources of the federal government to help the recovery and put more people back to work, the Republican agenda has focused more on repealing the Affordable Care Act, and eliminating the thousands of jobs connected to it. Worst of all, they passed their FY 2012 budget, which eliminates Medicare and Medicaid as we know it. It seems the Republicans not only do not want to help get people back to work, they want to take away their health care too!" said Engel (D-NY-17), who represents parts of Bronx, Westchester and Rockland counties.
Economically, the counties he represents are vastly different. Rockland and Westchester are around 6.8% unemployment, while the Bronx has been in the double digits for a long time. Engel's office said the Department of Labor's most recent listing for Bronx unemployment was at 11.5%.
President Barack Obama also released a statement about the slow job growth, and while he didn't make any direct references to a jobs bill, he did call on Congress as a whole to step up and begin passing bills that will increase jobs.
"Today’s job report confirms what most Americans already know: We still have a long way to go and a lot of work to do to give people the security and opportunity that they deserve. We’ve added more than two million new private sector jobs over the past 16 months, but the recession cost us more than eight million. And that means that we still have a big hole to fill.
"There are bills and trade agreements before Congress right now that could get all these ideas moving," he said about bills that would increase the sale of American-made goods and services to Asia and South America. "All of them have bipartisan support. All of them could pass immediately. And I urge Congress not to wait. The American people need us to do everything we can to help strengthen this economy and make sure that we are producing more jobs. "
Check out the full release by Rep. Engel after the jump.
REP. ENGEL – WHERE IS THE JOBS BILL?
Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-17) urged the Republican House Majority to finally fulfill their promise to the American people and produce a jobs bill. Seven months into their control of the House and not a single jobs bill has been discussed, much less passed. This is despite an unemployment crisis and a Republican campaign promise to have a “laser-like” focus on jobs.
The number of unemployed persons (14.1 million) and the unemployment rate (9.2 percent) were essentially unchanged over the month. Employment in most major private-sector industries changed little over the month. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was essentially unchanged over the month, at 6.3 million, and accounted for 44.4 percent of the unemployed.
“The June jobs report, while adding a disappointing 18,000 jobs in the last month, was still the 16th consecutive month of job growth resulting in more than two million added private sector jobs as America comes out of the recession. There are a lot of factors contributing to the slowdown in job growth – the Japanese earthquake, high oil prices, and fears about the government defaulting on its debt. The fragile nature of the economic recovery gives events such as these a much larger significance since the economy has fewer margins for error.
“So there is no excuse for Congress to sit back and do nothing. Instead of putting the resources of the federal government to help the recovery and put more people back to work, the Republican agenda has focused more on repealing the Affordable Care Act, and eliminating the thousands of jobs connected to it. Worst of all, they passed their FY 2012 budget, which eliminates Medicare and Medicaid as we know it. It seems the Republicans not only do not want to help get people back to work, they want to take away their health care too!
“According to the Economic Policy Institute, the attack on Medicare and Medicaid would result in a loss of over 2 million more jobs. More recently, they proposed a transportation bill which deeply slashes funding for projects, thus missing a golden opportunity to provide work for Americans in need of employment.
“After opposing every jobs bill introduced in 2010, no one can be shocked they have ignored the unemployment problem since taking the majority. Republicans must shift the focus of their agenda back to where they promised the American people it would be – creating jobs. The answer is not more rhetoric on lowering corporate taxes; in fact, total federal tax revenue as a percentage of Gross National Product has averaged 14.9% since January 2009, the lowest in decades. It is expected to drop even further in 2011. That type of policy is what got us in this mess in the first place. The American people and our job-creators need to see that our government is more interested in working for them instead of making political points. Let’s stop the ideological gamesmanship, work together, and produce a jobs bill which helps the unemployed and aids employers at the same time. The time for this is long overdue.”