Our Coming Jobs Stalemate

Paul Kane previews the House Republican agenda that will grip the nerves and imagination of all Americans when business resumes in September. After mocking President Obama for constantly Pivoting to Jobs, they will boldly… Pivot to Jobs.

Some Republican strategists have been warning party leaders that the focus on cutting spending is not resonating with independent voters who are most concerned about a sagging economy and an unemployment rate that has exceeded 9 percent for more than two years.

Who are these Republican strategists? Are they hard of hearing? In January, the Majority Leader announced that the Republicans would run a “cut and grow” Congress. “I think even someone from the White House this week had said that this is going to be a cut and invest White House,” Cantor scoffed at the time. “We want to cut and grow. When we hear invest from anyone in Washington, to me that means more spending.” Debt reduction was worth one page of the GOP’s most recent jobs plan. So we’ve cut spending, and mysteriously, the shrinking public sector work force and the construction sector haven’t rewarded us with a bumper crop of jobs. What’s the new plan?

House Republicans will roll out plans Monday to fight regulations from the National Labor Relations Board, pollution rules handed down by the Environmental Protection Agency and regulations that affect health plans for small businesses. In addition, the lawmakers plan to urge a 20 percent tax deduction for small businesses.

Fighting EPA regulations? That’s been a Republican cause all year, doomed by Democratic control of the Senate. The NLRB fight jibes quite well with the concerns of Republican presidential candidates. The tax deduction? Patent reform, which isn’t mentioned here but isn’t unimaginable? Those could happen, but are they more or less likely if Barack Obama mentions them in his jobs speech?