Republicans blocking massive jobs bill now complain about jobs


Analysts predicted that President Joe Biden's Build Back Better plan would have supported millions of additional jobs annually.

Congressional Republicans are attacking President Joe Biden over a preliminary report that shows the U.S. economy added what they call a "dismal" 199,000 jobs in December. In addition to that figure being higher than it was in many months of the previous administration, every single Republican in Congress opposed Biden's $1.75 trillion Build Back Better plan, which would have helped create millions of jobs.

On Friday, an array of GOP lawmakers framed the Bureau of Labor Statistics report as proof that Biden's policies are "failing."

"Another huge miss for the Biden economy," tweeted the Senate Republican caucus.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy pointed to the numbers as proof that the Biden administration "sabotaged what should've been a V-shaped recovery."

"This is the WORST jobs report of Joe Biden's presidency," wrote House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik.

"Our economy is stalling out because President Biden's policies have failed," charged North Carolina Rep. Ted Budd.

"Yet another dismal jobs report under Pres. Biden's leadership — less than half the jobs expected were created in the month of December," said Iowa Rep. Randy Feenstra. "This rounds out a lackluster year for the economy, proving Biden & the Democrats' tax & spend agenda is a reckless approach to economic policy."

"Another huge miss in December as the economic crisis continues," lamented Ohio Rep. Mike Carey. "Will Democrats finally abandon their radical tax and spend agenda?"

But every House and Senate Republican opposed Biden's plan to invest $1.75 trillion in climate and caregiving infrastructure. The Build Back Better Act passed the House in November over unanimous GOP opposition, but has stalled in the Senate.

According to a November estimate from the Economic Policy Institute, the package would "provide support for 2.3 million jobs per year in its first five years." The nonpartisan think tank noted that about half of those jobs would "result from new and expanded caregiving initiatives for universal pre-K (332,000 jobs per year), child care (574,000), and long-term care (238,000)."

In addition to the new jobs in those areas, the bill's child care and long-term care provisions would make it easier for many currently unemployed parents and caregivers to return to the workforce, economists predicted.

And while Republicans now call 199,000 new jobs a "dismal" figure, they were quick to praise comparable job numbers under then-President Donald Trump.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the December 2021 numbers were better than the jobs numbers during around half of the months of Trump's single term in the White House. In 2019, the last year before the pandemic, average monthly job growth was below 168,000.

Trump called that the "greatest economy in the history of the world."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.