GOP, Dems sharpen focus on job creation, but with opposing ideas

In a statement announcing the hearing, Ways and Means Republicans added that "many employers and economists believe that the recent increases in the scale and scope of government intervention in the economy are contributing factors to the lack of private sector job creation."

On the other side of the political spectrum, Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) said this week he would introduce legislation in April that rejects the Republican theory and calls instead for block grants for small manufacturers around the country. His "Make it in America Block Grant" bill would focus on states and regions with high unemployment rates and would offer grants for small companies to help them with retooling their operations, integrating clean energy into their manufacturing, training and expanding export opportunities.

The bill would also create a "Make it in America" partnership board that would help with grant awards and develop goals for the program.

Cicilline spoke Tuesday in Rhode Island with manufacturers and said his meetings were "intended to gather the thoughts and opinions of our local manufacturers so they can make sure that the legislation I plan to introduce next month will really work for them."

Democrats have attacked Republicans repeatedly for failing to introduce a "jobs bill" in the 112th Congress, while Republicans have stuck to their arguments that the best way to create jobs is to create certainty for companies by reducing government spending and creating a more stable business environment for companies.