By Mike Lillis - 08/15/11 09:59 PM EDT
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Monday hammered Republicans for what she labeled their “anti-worker agenda” in the face of soaring unemployment.
Appearing before the United Steelworkers Conference in Las Vegas, Pelosi said the GOP’s focus on deficits over jobs prioritizes the wealthy over the middle class, and she vowed that Democrats on the newly formed supercommittee wouldn’t support a deficit-reduction strategy that harms workers.
With unemployment hovering higher than 9 percent, both parties have put forth a series of proposals they say will foster hiring.
Republicans are pushing a strategy that focuses on cutting taxes, overhauling the tax code, breaking down trade barriers and eliminating federal rules that the business lobby considers burdensome.
Democrats, meanwhile, are promoting their “Make it in America” agenda, a package of bills that would boost infrastructure funding, develop a national infrastructure-development bank and attempt to rein in China’s currency manipulation.
Pelosi on Monday said the package would get workers back to “producing the goods that America needs and the world wants to buy.”
“Democrats’ Make It in America agenda stands in sharp contrast to the anti-worker agenda of the Republicans — in Washington and from coast to coast,” she said.
Last week, Rep. John Larson (Conn.), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said he’ll be introducing legislation next month to create a Joint Select Committee on Job Creation to operate alongside the already established deficit-reduction panel.
“This would allow the Congress to simultaneously consider both our near-term (high unemployment) and our long-term (growing debt) challenges later this year,” Larson said in a statement.