Sen. McCaskill: Jobs bill unlikely this year

Congress is unlikely to pass a jobs bill this year because of opposition to spending, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said Monday.

Democrats have sought to put the legislative focus back on job creation in the aftermath of the debt-limit agreement, but McCaskill said that will be a hard sell given continued worries about the public debt.

"I think it's very doubtful [Congress] will do anything that spends money,” McCaskill said in comments published in the Southeast Missourian.

McCaskill, who emphasized job creation while touring three companies in her home state, said Congress might instead look at patent reform, trade agreements and regulations that are getting in the way of business growth.

Congressional leaders on opposite sides of the aisle have sparred over which party has done a better job emphasizing jobs and economic growth.

“During more than 200 days in the majority, House Republicans have put our economy at risk by threatening a first-ever default on our debt and refusing to propose legislation to create jobs,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wrote in a column for USA Today last week. “Democrats know that nothing is more critical to Americans' economic security than good-paying jobs.”

Also last week, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) wrote on his official blog, “Spurring jobs and the economy is always next on the Obama administration's to-do list, right after more spending, more taxing and more regulating."

In an echo of comments made by President Obama in June regarding ATM machines, McCaskill noted that technological advances have increased productivity while failing to create more jobs. “That's one of the reasons this has been a jobless recovery,” she said.