U.S. Representative Bobby Schilling (R-Colona) today challenged U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) to show leadership in the Senate on legislation to help create sustainable, long-term, private sector jobs. Schilling said that Durbin has an obligation to his constituents and to his country to work across party lines to get hard working people back to work.
"No more political games," Schilling said. "Let's get this done. People are sick of the high school politics and they want results. We've done our part in the House. We've passed 27 jobs bills with bipartisan support, advocated for the job-creating Keystone XL Pipeline, and protected working families from further tax hikes that would destroy any chance of an economic recovery. It's time for Senator Durbin to step up, demonstrate leadership, and work for the best interests of the people, not just for his party's reelection efforts."
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released their April jobs report last week, and the results were underwhelming. The economy added a lackluster 115,000 jobs during April, and while the official unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent, the labor force participation rate fell to its lowest level since 1981 at just 63.6 percent. An incredible 522,000 people stopped looking for jobs in April and left the work force entirely.
"We all want to see the economy improve, so at first glance it's good to see a lower unemployment figure, but the problem is that the figure is misleading," Schilling said. "The official unemployment rate doesn't include people who have stopped looking for work altogether. That number increased by 522,000 people in April, and now we're dealing with the lowest labor force participation in more than 30 years."
Schilling said he empathized with people struggling to find work in a tough economy.
"Joblessness has become a reality for far too many people. Families are struggling to put food on the table, and this is absolutely unacceptable," Schilling said. "It's time to set politics aside and work for the people. Our number one priority in the House has been getting America back to work, but everything we've passed has been stalled by Senator Durbin's inaction in the do-nothing Senate. It's time for leadership, not partisanship. America is tired of gridlock and ready for bipartisan solutions."