House Republicans to Talk Jobs With Businesses in Interactive Forum

Democrats and some economists warn GOP budget-cutting will cost jobs.

Posted: 03/14/2011 10:00 AM EDT
Filed Under Congress

This week House Republicans will convene an interactive forum on job creation, which they say is part of their ongoing efforts to listen to businesses large and small about innovative ways to grow the economy and create private sector jobs. Businesses from a variety of industries, including health, energy, technology and finance, will participate in person and from regions around the country via Twitter and a live stream. The event will take place in the Capitol Visitors Center on Wednesday from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

“The more business owners we talk to across the country, the more obvious it becomes that our businesses are innovative and poised to grow, but government just has to stop making it harder for them to compete,” Republican leadership said in a statement issued by the office of Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Virginia). “As part of our larger effort, this forum provides an opportunity to continue these conversations with job creators and share valuable insights and experiences about the challenges they face. We will also discuss how to eliminate barriers that hinder job growth and the proactive steps we can take to make it easier for them to hire and expand.”

Almost from the start of the 112th Congress, Republican lawmakers have contended that part of their mandate from the voters who gave them the majority in the House of Representative last fall is to create jobs. Since they have been in charge, however, they have focused almost exclusively on fulfilling a pledge to reduce government spending levels, which has led their Democratic colleagues to frequently ask on the House floor about their plan for jobs.

Republican leaders argue that reducing government spending will lower taxes and provide businesses with the confidence they need to create jobs. But according to a report released by Goldman Sachs last week, the drastic cuts Republicans have proposed could cost the nation 700,000 jobs and slow economic growth by 2 percent in the second and third quarters of this year. invalid link: similar report, first published in the Washington Post, that Moody’s economist Mark Zandi will release today also concludes that the Republican plan to cut $61 billion from the budget will cost hundreds of thousands of jobs and slow economic recovery. “The House Republicans’ proposal would reduce 2011 real GDP growth by 0.5 percent and 2012 growth by 0.2 percentage points. This would mean some 400,000 fewer jobs created by the end of 2011 and 700,000 fewer jobs by the end of 2012,” Zandi says.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-Missouri), who chairs Congressional Black Caucus, says that while the GOP forums will not harm job creation in the nation’s urban core, where Black unemployment rates are in the double digits, he doesn’t see any benefit.

“Conversations about jobs are always appropriate,” he said. “My fear is that after all is said and done, there will be more said than done."


(Photo:  Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

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