ABC News' John R. Parkinson reports:
In the final jobs report before voters head to polls for the congressional midterm elections next month, the Labor Department announced this morning that 95,000 American jobs were lost -- significantly worse than economists had projected -- and the unemployment rate held steady at 9.6 percent.
House Minority Leader John Boehner, D-Ohio, reacted to the news this morning by once again calling on Congress to enact proposals spelled out in the recently-unveiled GOP legislative agenda “A Pledge to America.”
“This disappointing jobs report demonstrates the pressing need to immediately enact the Pledge to America and help end the uncertainty caused by Washington Democrats’ out-of-control spending spree and job-killing policies,” Boehner said in a paper statement today. “With the Pledge to America, Republicans have offered a clear and positive plan to help end economic uncertainty, create jobs, and make America more competitive. With the American people asking ‘where are the jobs?,’ Republicans’ blueprint for job creation starts with stopping all of the looming tax hikes and ending Washington’s out-of-control spending spree."
"Make no mistake, our economy will ultimately recover, but it will do so because of the hard work and entrepreneurship of the American people, not more of the same wasteful Washington spending and job-killing tax hikes and mandates,” Boehner added.
Also this morning, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., responded to the jobs report by highlighting data showing that the private sector added 64,000 jobs last month, the ninth consecutive month of private sector growth, and pushing the total to 863,000 jobs created there this year.
“Today's jobs report shows our private sector continues to lead our economic recovery," Pelosi said in a paper statement. "We lost more than 800,000 private sector jobs the last month of the Bush Administration, but America's business owners and entrepreneurs have added more jobs this year than the Bush Administration and its Republican allies did in eight years. Democrats are moving our country forward, and we will and we must do more to strengthen our economy and put people back to work."
Later this morning President Obama is set to comment on the monthly jobs numbers during a visit to a small business in Bladensburg, Maryland.
Early this afternoon Boehner will deliver a speech of his own at a small family-owned manufacturer in West Chester, Ohio on what is being billed as the GOP’s “closing argument” for a Republican majority.
Boehner, who stands in line to take over as Speaker if Republicans are able to win control of the House November 2, will make the case to voters that the election is a referendum on the Obama administration and Washington Democrats' job-killing policies.
Boehner will call for a more responsive Congress “that listens and responds to Americans demanding common-sense solutions to help create jobs, cut spending and change the way Congress works.”
“Elected officials with no understanding of how our economy works spent money with reckless abandon, running up the deficit and telling us we could pay for it all by raising taxes. It was clear they believed the engine of prosperity in America is government itself,” Boehner will say today, according to advanced excerpts of his speech. “The thinking went like this: if you want more jobs, then spend more money. Collect more taxes, and redistribute them from the federal level. Make government bigger. If you've been paying any attention at all to the Obama Administration, this thinking may sound familiar. It's not ‘new.’ In fact there's nothing ‘new’ about it. And anyone who's ever created a private sector job in America can tell you it is dead wrong.”
Mike Pence, the chairman of the House Republican Conference, also seized upon the jobs report as an opportunity to once again call on Congress to extend all of the Bush-era tax cuts before the expire at the end of the year.
“The American people are hurting under the weight of the failed economic policies of this administration. On top of the borrowing, spending and bailouts, Democrats are poised to allow the biggest tax increase in American history to take effect on January 1, 2011,” Pence said. “It’s time for a new direction to get this economy moving again. Congress should come back to Washington and vote immediately to ensure that there will be no tax increases on American families, small business owners, and family farms.”
President Obama and the House Democratic Leadership have called for an extension of the middle-class tax cuts for individuals making up to $200,000 and families earning up to $250,000 annually. Congress is expected to address the issue during the lame duck session of Congress beginning November 15.
“Republicans want to protect Wall Street and corporations that ship jobs overseas. Democrats want to cut taxes for the middle class, and Republicans want to give a break to millionaires and billionaires, and blow an even larger hole in our deficit,” Pelosi stated today. “Americans can't afford a return to the 'exact same' failed policies that produced the worst recession in generations. We will keep moving forward to create more jobs, growth, and prosperity for our workers and our families.”