GOP urges call of action on jobs, economy

Congressional Republicans called on President Obama to help pass legislation this year that would grow the nation's economy. 

Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) urged the White House to press Senate Democrats to take up a slate of House-passed jobs bills.

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"Call on your party to give these jobs bills a vote,"  Stutzman said in this week's Republican address. "Let’s keep the focus on employment, not unemployment," he continued. 

"Let’s do what Americans have always done and pull together toward better days and a more prosperous future."

Stutzman argued that the economy isn't creating enough jobs for more than 10 million Americans who are unemployed and that Republicans have some ideas that might work. 

"We’re listening and we’re trying to help any way that we can," he said. 

He urged the Obama administration and the Senate to approve the Keystone pipeline and move forward with offshore energy production.

Stutzman also pressed for passage of the SKILLS Act, which he says is designed to help unemployed workers get job training to update their skills. 

"The House has passed dozens of jobs bills, many with bipartisan support," he said.  "Each one would help Americans get the jobs they deserve. Unfortunately, all of these proposals are gathering dust in the Senate."

He criticized Obama and the Senate for "sitting on the bench" while calling for more action on a jobs agenda. 

"They seem to have surrendered to a new normal of high unemployment. Instead of standing shoulder to shoulder with out-of-work Americans, they’re focused on making it easier to live without a job," he said.

Congressional Democrats and the White House have been trying to pass another round of federal unemployment benefits but, so far, to no avail. 

Lawmakers left Washington for a weeklong recess without restoring jobless benefits, which expired Dec. 28 for nearly 1.5 million of the long-term unemployed. 

Stutzman said if the president is serious about taking action then "it should start by giving each of these jobs bills an up-or-down vote in the Senate."