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GOP lawmakers who called Biden relief plan 'reckless' silent as job numbers grow

Republican lawmakers who previously had plenty to say about ‘disappointing’ job growth are silent in the wake of the July jobs report.

By Josh Israel - August 06, 2021
Tim Walberg

In the early months of President Joe Biden’s presidency, Republican lawmakers repeatedly suggested that “disappointing” job growth proved his economic policies were failing. Now, with the release on Friday of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report that more than 940,000 jobs were added last month, they appear to have gone silent.

In March, Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which congressional Democrats enacted without a single Republican vote. It provided billions of dollars in direct aid to cash-strapped state and local governments; a major investment in vaccination, testing, and tracing; $1,400 relief checks for most families; and expanded unemployment benefits for those out of work due to the pandemic.

Though the economy has added hundreds of thousands of jobs each month since, Republicans have seized on some lower-than-expected monthly numbers as proof that Biden’s policies were not working.

“The April jobs report is extremely disappointing. Unfortunately, instead of advancing pro-growth policies, Biden and the Democrats’ [sic] want big government, reckless spending, and to raise taxes, which will only harm our economic growth even more,” Arizona Rep. Debbie Lesko tweeted in May.

“Last week’s disappointing jobs report highlights the massive problems with trillions of dollars in wasteful spending and paying people not to work,” concurred Kansas Rep. Jake LaTurner, while Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn tweeted, “Disappointing jobs numbers. The Biden economy fell short of their 1M goal and came in at 266k. Tax hikes and increased regulations never create jobs!”

Michigan Rep. Tim Walberg said in response to the April numbers, “It’s time to hit the brakes on President Biden’s unsustainable spending spree before more damage is done to Michigan’s workers and economy.”

A month later, it was more of the same.

“May marks another month of disappointing job growth brought on by Dem socialist driven spending policies,” Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall posted on June 4, with three siren emojis.

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott proclaimed it “Another disappointing jobs report,” adding, “It’s clear: Democrats’ spending trillions of dollars is crushing our economic recovery.”

“Another month, another disappointing jobs report. 100,000 fewer jobs added than anticipated all while businesses struggle to fill MILLIONS of available positions,” wrote New York Rep. Nichole Malliotakis. “@POTUS’ policies have only incentivized Americans to stay home. It’s time for big gov to get out of the way!”

“With massive spending, a pair of disappointing jobs reports, and inflation ticking up at the fastest pace since the Great Recession in 2008, it’s clear Pres. Biden’s failed policies are hurting Americans & moving our economy in the wrong direction,” said Iowa’s Rep. Randy Feenstra.

On Friday, along with reporting on the 943,000 jobs added in July, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revised the May and June numbers upward by a total of more than 110,000 jobs.

None of the GOP lawmakers who complained about earlier job numbers appears to have tweeted in support of the July results or to have reconsidered their assessment of Biden’s economic policies.

Rep. Michelle Steel (R-CA) posted a link to an op-ed she wrote with House Minority Whip Steve Scalise for Fox News with a tweet reading, “If we want to get people back to work and create more jobs for hard-working Americans, we must return to solutions that safeguard taxpayer dollars and help businesses thrive. Read my latest w/@SteveScalise on Democrats’ reckless spending.”

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, did acknowledge that “the July jobs report finally met expectations,” though he baselessly attributed this in part to some GOP-controlled states cutting off federal unemployment benefits early. He griped that the total is “still 298,000 jobs short” of the 2.399 million jobs that one Moody’s Analytics estimate suggested could come from passage of the rescue plan.

Since taking office in January, Biden has presided over the addition of more than 4.1 million jobs in the United States. His predecessor, Donald Trump, oversaw a loss of 3 million jobs over the course of his single term in the White House.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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