"Where Are The Jobs?":The GOP's Two-Year Campaign Against Job Creation and Economic Growth

March 14, 2011 1:15 pm ET

During the first two years of the Obama administration, congressional Republicans attempted to thwart President Obama's and the Democrats' efforts to help the economy, repeatedly voting against bills designed to create jobs.

"Where Are The Jobs?"

-134 House Republicans, 7/22/09

Republicans Have Spent Two Years Blocking Job-Creation Efforts

The Recovery Act Lowered The Unemployment Rate And Increased The Number Of People With Full-Time Jobs By Millions. According to the CBO:

CBO estimates that ARRA's policies had the following effects in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2010:

  • They raised real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product by between 1.1 percent and 3.5 percent,
  • Lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.7 percentage points and 1.9 percentage points,
  • Increased the number of people employed by between 1.3 million and 3.5 million, and
  • Increased the number of full-time-equivalent (FTE) jobs by 1.8 million to 5.0 million compared with what would have occurred otherwise. (Increases in FTE jobs include shifts from part-time to full-time work or overtime and are thus generally larger than increases in the number of employed workers).

[Congressional Budget Office, 2/23/11]                                                                                                                

  • All 176 Republicans In The House And 38 Republicans In The Senate Voted Against The American Recovery And Reinvestment Act. [H.R. 1, Vote #70, 2/13/09; H.R. 1, Vote #64, 2/13/09]

The Affordable Care Act "Could Increase The Number Of Jobs In The United States By About 250,000 To 400,000 Per Year." According to the Center for American Progress: "In the analysis that follows, we combine these two studies to show that health care reform could increase the number of jobs in the United States by about 250,000 to 400,000 per year over the coming decade." [Center for American Progress, 1/8/10]

  • No Republicans In The House Or Senate Voted For The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act. [H.R. 3590, Vote #165, 3/21/2010; H.R. 3590, Vote #396, 12/24/09]

The Jobs For Main Street Act Could "Create More Than One Million Jobs." According to Rep. Ray Oberstar (D-MN) via National Journal: "We have the opportunity to build on the foundation set by the Recovery Act in H.R. 2847, the Jobs for Main Street Act. This bill, which won approval in the House on December 16, 2009, would invest another $37.3 billion in our nation's highways and transit systems, and create more than one million jobs." [National Journal, 1/4/10]

  • 166 Republicans In The House And 29 Republicans In The Senate Voted Against The Jobs For Main Street Act. In its final form, this act is known as the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act. [H.R. 2847, Vote #90, 3/4/10; H.R. 2847, Vote #55, 3/17/10]

The FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act "Would Preserve The Jobs Of More Than 300,000 Workers." According to the Washington Post: "Democrats argued that it would preserve the jobs of more than 300,000 workers by helping state governors plug their own budget holes." [Washington Post, 9/11/10]

  • 158 Republicans In The House And 39 Republicans In The Senate Voted Against H.R. 1586, The FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act. [H.R. 1586, Vote #518, 8/10/10; H.R. 1586, Vote #228, 8/5/10]

The Small Business Jobs Act "Would Generate An Estimated 500,000 Jobs." According to The Center for American Progress: "In May, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, introduced the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010. ... The benefits to small businesses and the economy from this bill could not be more clear. Demand for the Small Business Administration loans included in the Recovery Act was so high that the SBA ran out of funds in the spring of 2009, leaving over a thousand small businesses on a waiting list. Helping small businesses access private credit would generate an estimated 500,000 jobs." [Center for American Progress, 9/21/10]

  • 174 Republicans In The House And 38 Republicans In The Senate Voted Against The Small Business Jobs Act Of 2010. [H.R. 5297, Vote #539, 9/23/10; H.R. 5297, Vote #237, 9/16/10]

Not Extending The TANF Emergency Fund "Jeopardiz[es] 240,000 Jobs In 37 States." According to the Huffington Post: "Congress is set to increase unemployment by not reauthorizing a fund for a subsidized jobs program that will expire on September 30, jeopardizing 240,000 jobs in 37 states." [Huffington Post, 7/27/10]

  • 42 Republicans In The Senate Voted Against Extending The TANF Emergency Fund, Which Failed Passage. [S.Con.Res. 21, Vote #45, 3/9/10]

House Republicans Targeted TANF Emergency Fund For Elimination. Politico reported:

House Republicans built a web site that asked people to vote on which government program to cut, and they've found a winner: welfare.

After receiving 81,000 text message votes on the new "YouCut" web site, $2.5 billion from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families fund is in Republican crosshairs. The expanded welfare fund - passed in the stimulus bill and reauthorized in March - provides funds to states to subsidize jobs. [Politico, 5/18/10]

Unemployment Benefits Are "Timely And Cost-Effective In Spurring Economic Activity And Employment." According to the CBO Testimony of Doug Elmendorf, director of the CBO:

Extending additional unemployment benefits would directly help those who would otherwise exhaust their unemployment benefits between March and December of this year. Households receiving unemployment benefits tend to spend the additional benefits quickly, making this option both timely and cost-effective in spurring economic activity and employment.

The Congressional Budget Office also provided the following chart:

Cumulative Effects of Policy Options on Employment in 2010 and 2011, Range of Low to High Estimates


[CBO, 2/23/10]

  • 142 Republicans In The House And 39 Republicans In The Senate Voted Against The Unemployment Compensation Extension Act Of 2010. [H.R. 4213, Vote #463, 7/22/10; [H.R. 4213, Vote #215, 7/21/10]

  • 111 Republicans In The House And 38 Republicans In The Senate Voted Against The Continuing Extension Act Of 2010. [H.R. 4851, Vote #211, 4/15/10; H.R. 4851, Vote #117, 4/15/10]