Issue Report ● Jobs and Economyfacebooktwitterbirdemail
For Immediate Release: 
May 20, 2014

Earlier this month, House Republican leaders held a press conference where they claimed that they were focused on job creation and bringing legislation to the Floor that would put more Americans back to work. The Washington Post reported:

Republican House leaders emerging from a closed-door caucus meeting declared to the TV cameras that they were all about creating jobs — omitting from their opening statements any mention of their investigatory obsession.”

“‘I hosted my fifth-annual jobs fair,’ began Rep. Lynn Jenkins (Kan.).”

“‘Today I wanted to talk more about jobs,’ announced Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.).”

Unfortunately, their actions on the House Floor that week told a different story. In the days following their press conference, where they promised to make job creation a top priority, House Republicans leaders opted for partisan messaging bills and unrelated suspensions instead. Here’s a look at the calendar:

What’s missing?

While wasting time on partisan conspiracy theories, Republicans have ignored myriad other issues that the American people support taking action on:

  • Restoring Unemployment Insurance:
    • 2.8 million people are without unemployment insurance because of Republican inaction, and an additional 72,000 Americans will lose their insurance every week Republicans fail to act.
  • Immigration Reform:
    • A new poll shows that 64% of Republicans, 78% of Democrats and 71% of independents back comprehensive immigration reform. [Politico, 5/19/14]
    • Over 30 Republicans have also voiced their support on comprehensive immigration reform.
    • Tea Party Express co-founder Sal Russo urged Republicans to take action: “Our nation competes in a global economy, and our immigration policies should reflect our needs for the 21st century. Conservative-led immigration reform is an important step to a brighter American future.” [Roll Call, 5/14/14]
    • The business community has also encouraged Republicans to move forward on fixing our broken immigration system: “If the Republicans don’t do it, they shouldn’t bother to run a candidate in 2016,”said U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue. [Politico, 5/12/14]
  • Minimum Wage:
    • According to a Bloomberg poll, 69% of Americans, including 45% of Republicans, support the President’s call to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 over the next three years. [Bloomberg, 3/11/14]
    • More and more Republicans are coming out in support of minimum wage:
      • Former Governor Mitt Romney: “I think we ought to raise it.” [Politico, 5/9/14]
      • Former Senator Rick Santorum: “Let’s not make this argument that we’re for the blue-collar guy but we’re against any minimum wage increase ever. It just makes no sense.” [Politico, 5/5/14]
      • Former Governor Tim Pawlenty: “If you’re going to talk the talk about being for the middle class and the working person, if we have the minimum wage, it should be reasonably adjusted from time to time.” [Politico, 4/30/14]

With barely nine weeks left on the legislative agenda, and just 34 days in session before August recess, time is running out for this Republican-led Congress to abandon the political rhetoric and work with Democrats to take action on the issues that matter most to the American people.

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