HOUSE DEMOCRATIC WHIP HOYER ON UNEMPLOYMENT, PRESIDENT IN WISCONSIN

“A Two-Yard Gain When We Really Need a Touchdown”

For Immediate Release:

October 3, 2003

Contact:Stacey Farnen
202-225-3130

WASHINGTON – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement in response to the Labor Department’s announcement that unemployment held steady at 6.1% in September and President Bush’s anticipated remarks in Wisconsin today:

“The Labor Department’s new unemployment numbers are like a two-yard gain when what we really need is a touchdown.  This small gain is nothing to make you jump out of your seat with excitement.

“It is good news that 57,000 jobs have been added to the economy, but we still need 3 million new jobs to make up for what has been lost under President Bush’s watch. 

“In addition, it is disturbing that the number of unemployed who had been searching for work for 27 weeks or more rose to 2.1 million and that the number of persons working part-time because they can’t find full-time work increased to nearly 5 million.

“These numbers – when added to recent news that poverty has engulfed more Americans than ever before, that median income has fallen for the third year in a row, and more Americans lack health insurance as costs climb – show American workers continue to be pinned down by a sluggish economy that keeps them from moving forward into greater prosperity.

“Before moving on to his fundraiser, I hope that the president will offer a new vision of how to create jobs and opportunity for every American when he speaks today in Wisconsin, instead of the warmed-over six-point plan that he has been touting at events around the country.  That plan has little to do with creating jobs, and much to do with passing old items from the Republican agenda that have been languishing on the Congressional calendar in Washington.

“Democrats offered a plan that would have created 1 million new jobs this year without increasing the deficit.  I am hopeful that the president will realize his policies aren’t working and sit down with Democrats to craft a pro-active and responsible plan that creates jobs for out-of-work Americans.”

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