GOP’s Roskam: House to ‘double down’ on job losses in next week's session

Republican Rep. Peter Roskam (Il..) on Saturday blasted House Democrats’ plan to return to Washington next week, saying the majority party will “double down” on job losses.

Roskam seized upon Friday’s jobs report, using the weekly Republican radio address as a platform to blast President Obama’s economic record. He accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) of exacerbating the problem by planning to approve a $26 billion aid package to states and schools next week.

The aid package was approved Wednesday by the Senate. A House vote is necessary before Congress returns from recess in September to prevent schoolteachers from being laid off. The package is paid for with spending cuts and the closure of a tax loophole for businesses.

Roskam said instead of doling out money, taxes should be cut and regulations loosened on the private sector.

“Speaker Pelosi and Democrat leaders in Congress are coming back to Washington next week to double down on their ‘stimulus’ agenda that has led to fewer jobs and more debt,” he said. “This latest round of ‘stimulus’ spending comes in the form of a political season payoff to union bosses, and even worse, it’ll be financed with a job-killing tax hike on America’s job-creators.”

Roskam, deputy whip in the House GOP caucus, represents Illinois’ sixth congressional district in the west Chicago suburbs. He was tapped by Republican leaders this spring to help lead the party’s branding and messaging efforts in advance of the fall elections.

Friday’s jobs report showed 71,000 private sector jobs were added in July, a dip from 83,000 that were added in June. And 131,000 jobs were lost overall, many of them Census workers whose temporary jobs ended. The overall unemployment rate stayed steady at 9.5 percent.

“Here in the president’s home state of Illinois, where the unemployment rate is well over 10 percent, families are wondering why Washington is spending money we don’t have and piling up a mountain of debt only to have the economy sputter and job losses continue,” Roskam said. “Businesses are afraid to invest in the economy when Washington continues to hand down mandates and tax increases that make it harder to succeed and to grow.”

Roskam also used Saturday’s radio address to tout the GOP’s “America Speaking Out” project — a website launched by House Republican Leader John BoehnerJohn BoehnerLast Congress far from ‘do-nothing’ Top aide: Obama worried about impeachment for Syria actions An anti-government ideologue like Mulvaney shouldn't run OMB MORE (Ohio) to solicit conservative ideas and foster civic dialogue.

“One of the best and most popular ideas on right now is stopping Washington Democrats’ job-killing tax hikes on families and small businesses,” Roskam said. “At a time of serious economic challenges, massive new tax increases are a surefire way to stall growth and prevent businesses from creating jobs.”

Ironically, in the Senate, Democrats have been trying to pass a small-business incentives bill for months, only to meet repeated GOP resistance. Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidDems want Sessions to recuse himself from Trump-Russia probe Ryan says Trump, GOP 'in complete sync' on ObamaCare Congress has a mandate to repeal ObamaCare MORE (D-Nev.) on Thursday night filed a variety of procedural motions to set up initial votes on the bill when the chamber returns on Sept. 14.

Roskam did mention his tenure in the Illinois state Senate, which coincided with Obama’s own service there. Roskam said he saw Obama work in a bipartisan manner that he has eschewed since becoming president.

“I know that he has the ability to work across party lines when the moment demands it,” Roskam said. “For bipartisan economic solutions that can help all Americans, I hope President Obama will take another look at the ‘no-cost jobs plan’ that House Republican leaders presented to him last December.

“Ultimately, the key to improving our nation’s struggling economy depends on the strength and innovation of America’s private sector. By engaging the small and growing businesses that fuel our economy, we can get our country back on the right track.”

Republicans launched the “America Speaking Out” website earlier this summer. Although it leans conservative, it was billed as an “open forum… where all Americans are welcome to respectfully offer their opinions, regardless of party affiliation and whether we endorse them or not.”