Battle lines, and talking points, drawn in House jobs debate

"This is a make-work product for Republicans who are without an agenda for job creation," Pelosi said. "You have nothing else to offer."

Pelosi said Democrats approved far more productive bills in their first month in previous Congresses, and chided Republicans for the resolution and the failed vote to repeal the healthcare law, which she called "red meat" for the insurance industry.

Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), who led the debate during consideration of the rule, objected in particular to the long debate over the resolution scheduled for the next two days.

"The resolution isn't objectionable in and of itself," he said, noting the goal of regulatory oversight. But he questioned: "Why do my friends insist on spending nine and one-half hours debating a resolution that is entirely redundant?"

House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-Calif.) said the resolution is "all about creating jobs," and perhaps best summarized the positions of both sides. Democrats, he said, "seem to believe that the government creates jobs, and we believe that the American people create jobs, and our goal is to get out of the way so that can happen."

Republicans also said the marathon debate on the resolution, and the decision to empower committees to hold hearings on regulations, is an effort to create an open process. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) snapped at Democrats for criticizing the process by saying at one point to Rep. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.), "I know this is a new concept to people on your side."

The House will vote on the rule later today, and is expected to then begin debate on the resolution.

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