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Ms. KAPTUR. I thank Ranking Member Van Hollen for yielding the time and stand to say that jobs need to be America's number one priority. The Republican budget shows, once again, that Republicans don't have a jobs agenda. You balance family and national budgets by creating jobs and putting people back to work.
We still have over 12 million Americans looking for work, and that doesn't even include those who have fallen off benefits or are looking for work but can't find full-time employment.
I said when we marked up this bill in committee, and I will say it again, this Republican budget completely ignores the President's jobs agenda. Instead, Republicans, incredibly, criticized Democrats for taking the steps that helped save the U.S. auto industry and millions of related high-paying manufacturing jobs.
Republicans opposed the payroll tax extension for middle class Americans, which will help keep demand up so that businesses can hire more workers. Republicans are pushing for irresponsible cuts that economists have warned will hurt the economy and job creation, and Republicans proposed a partisan transportation bill that would bankrupt the highway trust fund and destroy thousands of jobs.
In committee, we couldn't even get the Republicans to support a modest Veterans Jobs Corps to create 20,000 jobs for our vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. I raised this situation with President Obama during one of his Ohio visits and shared with him H.R. 494, a bill I've drafted, and the President saw a need to create jobs, and his administration asked Congress to do this for our returning vets.
The Republican majority has said no to our veterans as thousands and thousands of them return and remain unemployed.
I ask my colleagues to reject the Republican budget, support the Democratic alternative, and put our economy first. Job creation for all Americans must be our top priority and is the first step in beginning to balance our budget which requires a growth economy.
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