Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) responded to today’s uptick in unemployment by firmly blaming his colleagues on the other side of the aisle.
The Labor Department reported this morning that 163,000 jobs were added in July but unemployment stands at 8.3 percent.
“The main obstacle standing in the way of a stronger economic recovery is the unprecedented, politically-motivated obstruction from Republicans in Congress,” Reid said in a statement. “My counterpart, Senator McConnell, announced that his ‘single most important’ goal was defeating President Obama. Republicans have followed his lead, blocking bill after bill that would create jobs and help middle-class families, often without even bothering to pretend they disagree with the bipartisan, common-sense policies they are obstructing.”
He tied the “slowly” recovering economy to the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts. The Senate passed all except for upper-income earners, while the House passed all of the cuts.
“Instead of spending all of their energy trying to defeat President Obama, I hope my Republican colleagues will listen to their constituents, drop their obstruction, and start working with Democrats,” Reid said. “Middle-class Americans expect us to put politics aside and do the right thing for our economy, and they deserve nothing less.”
President Obama is scheduled to give remarks at 11:45 a.m. EST on “the need for Congress to act to ensure that taxes don’t go up on 98 percent of Americans at the beginning of next year.”
The White House said the report is proof that the U.S. is recovering from recession and advocated additional infrastructure spending along with the extension of tax cuts for only the lower and middle income brackets.
“As the administration stresses every month, the monthly employment and unemployment figures can be volatile, and employment estimates can be subject to substantial revision,” said Alan Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. “Therefore, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report and it is informative to consider each report in the context of other data that are becoming available.”