Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee released the following statement after the Department of Labor reported that the economy added 146,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent in November. With 147,000 jobs added by private businesses, this marks the 33rd consecutive month of private sector job growth:
"The private sector is continuing to create jobs, and we must work together in Congress to ensure that our economy continues to grow and that we restore certainty and security for the middle class and small businesses.
"There is no reason for Republicans to hold the middle class and our economy hostage to more tax cuts for the wealthy and to drive our country over the fiscal cliff.
"House Republicans can do their part now by joining Democrats to extend the middle class tax cuts without further delay. With Republicans refusing to take up the Senate-passed tax relief bill, House Democrats have filed a discharge petition to force a vote on this legislation, so we can put money into the pockets of consumers during the holiday season and the New Year. There is no time to waste.
"We must come together to pass the middle income tax cuts and reach a balanced, bold, and responsible agreement that creates jobs, grows the economy, and reduces our deficit, while ensuring that the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share."