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Republicans Are Fiddling While Americans Remain Unemployed


Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Jesse L. Jackson said today, "I continue to believe that Republicans would rather see President Obama fail than see America succeed. This week's legislative agenda is the latest example. House Republicans are running out the clock on the economy at exactly the time we should be working around-the-clock to create jobs and strengthen the economy for all Americans.

"Two economic drones will hit construction workers and students on July 1 if Congress fails to act before June 30 on two critical issues. We've got two weeks before the highway bill expires and student loan interest rates double.

"Instead of acting legislatively on behalf of construction workers and students, this week's House schedule reflects more of the same - GOP bills going nowhere. We should be voting on the bi-partisan (74-to-22) Senate transportation bill that would create and/or save more than 2 million jobs to rebuild roads, bridges and highways across America - workers who have been hit hardest in recent jobs reports. Instead, the House will be voting on the Conservation and Economic Growth Act, a package of 14 bills - packaged as a jobs bill, of course - it actually includes a provision that allows 'deadly force to protect salmon in the Columbia River from "aggressive California sea lions,' and a provision that supports an increase in venues for recreational shooting.' Apparently Republicans believe these are two concerns that will truly touch the heart of unemployed construction workers. And the substantive parts of the bill are no better - deregulating domestic energy production, especially oil drilling on federal lands.

"And, unless Congress acts by June 30, the interest rate on federally subsidized student loans will rise from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1, raising the cost of college for millions of students.

"So everybody talking about jobs is not necessarily legislating for jobs. It reminds me of the old Negro Spiritual: 'Everybody talkin' 'bout heaven ain't goin' there'," Jackson concluded.

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