Having been preoccupied with passing a healthcare bill, the White House is eager to demonstrate it is sensitive to the economic hardship Americans face. To that end, the White House will host a jobs summit Thursday. And the next day, Obama will travel to Allentown, Pa. — the first stop in a kind of economic "listening tour."Democrats work on multibillion-dollar jobs package: Lawmakers say they're moving fast to get a job-creation bill to Obama by January. It's unclear how much of the effort would be funded with deficit spending, by Peter Nicholas.
Polling shows that the healthcare overhaul is not as important to Americans as an economic recovery that yields jobs. With a midterm election next year, Democrats in control of the White House and Congress can't afford to look out of touch.
A Senate Democratic aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, "Democrats have to address the No. 1 concern of their constituents — and that is, by a long shot, jobs."
Jobs, eh? By "a long shot"? So how exactly do Democrats propose to demonstrate that they're not "out of touch" on jobs?
Lawmakers are considering myriad ways to accelerate job growth. In interviews, they mentioned road projects that can be counted on to employ people right away, loans to small businesses, incentives for companies that agree to manufacture products in the U.S., and special partnerships in which government tries to avert private sector layoffs by picking up a share of employee wages.Yawn. The conspicuous absence from these "myriad ways to accelerate job growth": an immigration moratorium—stemming the flood of 150,000 legal immigrants who enter the US job market every month.
House members are also considering a plan to funnel aid to state and local governments with the assurance the money would be used to preserve jobs. Senate aides said the jobs plan would give priority to labor-intensive "brick-and-mortar" projects.
This conspicuous absence is bipartisan. Former Congressman Newt Gingrich is attempting to upstage President Obama with his own "Real Jobs Summits", held by his Americans Solutions organization on Wednesday December 2 and Thursday December 3 in Cincinatti, Ohio, and Jackson, Mississippi — but he's just emphasizing tax cuts rather than spending. (Yawn again.) No mention of an immigration moratorium either.