Washington, DC -- Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-17) called for the immediate consideration of jobs legislation to get more Americans back to work.  Despite private payrolls growing by 103,000 jobs in September – more than expected – unemployment is still too-high at 9.1 percent. While the number of new jobs exceeded consensus forecasts, it was barely enough to keep up with population growth. In the two years since the recovery officially began, there are 14 million people still looking for work, with almost half of them out of work for six months or longer.  

Rep. Engel said, “Job growth is barely positive, and certainly not at the levels we need to reverse the damage from the near-depression of the Bush Administration.  The problem we are facing now is a political one.  We need a jobs bill, and the Republican Majority refuses to put one up for a vote.  They have failed to fulfill their promise to the American people to have a “laser-like” focus on jobs. 

“Instead of using the resources of the federal government to help the recovery and put more people back to work, the Republican agenda has focused more on repealing the Affordable Care Act, and eliminating the thousands of jobs connected to it.  Many economists believe that deep budget cuts are bad for the economy, and that the federal government needs to spend to stimulate recovery. 

“The Tea Party-led Republican Majority led the nation to the brink of default, causing a credit downgrade, and several other moments of government near-shutdown.  The Majority actually wanted to withhold aid to tornado and hurricane disaster victims unless other budgetary cuts were made to offset disaster assistance.  They have placed their ideological agenda ahead of helping middle and lower income families across the nation.

“After opposing every jobs bill introduced in 2010, no one can be shocked they have ignored the unemployment problem since taking the majority.   Let’s stop the ideological gamesmanship, work together, and produce a jobs bill which helps the unemployed and aids employers at the same time.”