Our economy added fewer jobs than expected (96,000) in August, and 368,000 folks left the workforce altogether. We lost 15,000 manufacturing jobs, the labor participation rate is the lowest it has been in three decades, and unemployment has been above 8 percent for a record 43 straight months now. You can read more about the report here in the Chicago Tribune.
Some folks are trying to distract from the number one issue on the minds of working families -- economic growth and job creation -- but the American people deserve better. Rest assured that I will continue working on a bipartisan basis to provide economic certainty and stable taxes so our small business men and women can lead America to recovery.
Contributing to our economic certainty are the triggered across-the-board spending cuts set to begin just four months from now. The Administration has yet to tell the American people how they intend to implement the cuts that his own Defense Secretary called "catastrophic," and has not appeared willing to work with us to prevent them.
On August 7th, President Obama signed H.R. 5972, the Sequestration Transparency Act into law, requiring him to submit a detailed report to Congress on how the Administration is planning to implement the looming cuts, but the Administration last week missed their deadline. Without action these cuts will begin in just four months, but defense manufacturers and folks at the Rock Island Arsenal have yet to learn if or how they will be impacted.
This inaction by the Senate and by the Administration is just inexcusable. With the Senate having gone more than three years without a budget, sitting on more than 30 bipartisan House-passed jobs bills, failing to advance a single appropriations bill this year, and not yet passing its version of the defense bill, enough is enough.
These devastating cuts are avoidable, but only if our leaders come together and do the job they were elected to do for our manufacturing sector and the security of our great nation. We need the President to lead and present the American people with his plan for these defense cuts as required by the law he himself signed. I will continue working for transparency, and to prevent these cuts from taking place.
Tuesday, I had the opportunity to speak with employees at Koppers' Galesburg Plant. This impressive facility has more than 80 employees and focuses on producing durable railroad ties for tracks across the country.
Every rail job supports another 4.5 jobs elsewhere totaling about 12 million jobs, and I will continue working on a bipartisan basis towards a long-term transportation and infrastructure bill.
The House of Representatives heads back to Washington, D.C. this week, and as always my staff is available to assist you. I invite you to contact us by phone or email, and to drop by one of our upcoming mobile office hours. We work for you.
Member of Congress