Lawmakers in both parties are obsessed with jobs. Just look at their language on the House floor.
During a five-and-a-half-hour debate Thursday on a Republican resolution intended to lead to the elimination of regulations stifling jobs, lawmakers used the word "jobs" 320 times. That's an average of about one job per minute.
Add in the 63 times members spoke about jobs before and after the formal debate, lawmakers mentioned jobs a grand total of 383 times during Thursday's floor talk.
The jobs talk comes as the nation's jobless rate stands at 9 percent. Both parties want to bring down that rate and help the economy create jobs, but they disagree over how to do it.
Republicans are pushing for the elimination of regulations and billions in spending cuts that could begin to lower the nation's deficit. The resolution under debate Thursday instructs House committees to look for regulations that hurt economic growth and job creation.
Democrats favor a review of regulations, but have criticized the debate on the GOP measure as a distraction when the parties should be working on legislation that could create jobs. They also warn that the spending cuts favored by the GOP could actually stifle job growth.
The House on Friday morning began another four hours of debate, and is expected to vote on the resolution later in the day. Thursday's debate led to some tense moments, including a comment from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that the GOP is wasting its time debating the resolution for so long, and a warning from Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) that Democrats would fight Republicans' efforts to scale back environmental regulations.
Democrats all week have held to the line that ideas such as infrastructure spending are the best way to create U.S. jobs, and this week introduced H.R. 11, which would extend the Build America Bonds program that expired last year. The program provides federal subsidies for municipal bonds that lower the costs of borrowing for state and local governments and thus can help lower the costs of capital expenditure.
H.R. 11 is the first, and so far the only, bill that House Democrats have introduced as a top-priority measure that is numbered 11 through 20, which are reserved for Pelosi.
On the other side, Republicans are insisting that getting the government out of the way is the best way to create jobs. House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-Calif.) said on the floor Thursday that Democrats "seem to believe that the government creates jobs."