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Republicans taunt White House with rival jobs summit

December 3, 2009 |  9:39 am

Job Fair in New York

It's a day of dueling summits.

This afternoon President Obama hosts a jobs summit at the White House, where executives from business giants like Google, Xerox, Boeing and General Electric will meet with union leaders, economists, small-business owners and policy wonks to talk about how to stimulate creation of new jobs. With 17 million Americans out of work, with unemployment in Michigan topping 15% and in California above 12%, the White House wants to show sensitivity to the pain many families are enduring.

Not to be outdone, House Republicans led by Minority Leader John Boehner held their own jobs round-table this morning. Predictably, it blamed lagging jobs creation on the Obama administration's climate change legislation, financial regulation and healthcare reform.

"The single best jobs action that President Obama could take would be to reverse course on a dangerous agenda of debt-financed spending, crippling regulation, expensive mandates and intrusive government expansion," said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former Congressional Budget Office aide.

Republicans also criticized the White House for failing to invite two mega-business groups that have opposed much of the administration's agenda: the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Businesses. As Fox News' Chris Wallace told Don Imus, it might make sense to have a jobs fair at the White House.

Of course the Democrats counter that the Republican summit is sponsored by "architects of the failed Bush economic policy."

But as ABC's The Note points out, the news here is that congressional Republicans seem to have united over a economic message. Their prescription may or may not create jobs, but the coalescing around an agenda could be politically significant.

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo: A job fair in New York. Credit: New York Daily News

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