Reacting to news of November's massive job losses, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer lashed out at the White House on Friday.
President Bush's resistance to the Democrats' bid for an economic stimulus package constituted "his last act of economic malpractice," the Maryland Democrat said. "Nothing we can do has the power to instantly turn our economy around," Hoyer added, "but that is no reason for Republicans to block action. Democrats have a plan to put millions of Americans back to work by reinventing our nation's worn-down infrastructure, investing in 21st-century energy technologies, assisting the families who are hurting most in this recession, and helping cash-strapped states pay for vital services. Economists widely agree that such steps are necessary and effective responses to a recession."
Hoyer promised that if Bush cannot be convinced, the "Democratic Congress will ensure that President-elect Obama can sign it quickly after he is sworn in."
Meanwhile, House Minority Leader John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, ratcheted up his criticism of the much-signaled Democratic plan for a multibillion-dollar recovery package. "Now is not the time to make matters even worse by asking taxpayers to pay for a slate of new government spending in the name of 'economic stimulus,' " Boehner said in a statement.
He reiterated his call for tax cuts, calling them a "better way to jump-start our economy than increasing spending on government programs." He added: "Republicans would like to work with President-elect Obama and our Democratic colleagues to enact economic solutions that will let working families keep more of what they earn, help them rebuild their 401(k)s, and help small businesses create jobs-instead of raising their taxes and spending more of their money."
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