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Boehner: Jobs report shows economic weakness, Senate must act on House jobs bills

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 24: U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) answers questions during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol July 24, 2014 in Washington, DC. Boehner answered questions on a pending bill to address the problems with the Veterans Affairs administration and also issues related to immigration. Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Friday that the August jobs report shows a lingering "pattern of weakness" in the economy, and is a sign that Congress still needs to eliminate some of the federal regulations that are preventing strong job growth.

Boehner also blamed the Senate for failing to act on hundreds of jobs bills the House has passed over the last 20 months.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 24: U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) answers questions during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol July 24, 2014 in Washington, DC. Boehner answered questions on a pending bill to address the problems with the Veterans Affairs administration and also issues related to immigration. Win McNamee/Getty Images Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) says the latest jobs report shows Congress's work isn't done. Win McNamee/Getty Images

"Republicans have listened to the American people and advanced solutions to help create more jobs, lower costs at home, and restore opportunity for all Americans - and we'll maintain that focus in the weeks and months ahead," Boehner said. "But our common-sense solutions have run up against a brick wall in the Senate, where Democrats are more worried about keeping their jobs than helping families find work."

"With job growth slowing to its lowest level this year, Senate Democrats are out of excuses for stalling the dozens of House-passed jobs bills that are stuck in that chamber," he added.

Boehner outlined several core actions the government needs to take to help put companies in a position to hire people again, which include lowering the national debt, reforming the tax code, and reining in excessive federal regulations.

House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) agreed that the poor August showing means it's time for both the Senate and the White House to act.

"This month, the House will vote on another package of jobs bills, including bipartisan tax bills that strengthen the economy, and allow businesses to grow, create new jobs, and increase wages for their employees," he said. "It is time for this administration to engage Congress in a serious discussion of how we can overhaul our uncompetitive tax code and complete high-quality trade agreements to open new markets to American-made goods and services."

Boehner's remarks were released just moments after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the jobs report for August, which showed the weakest private sector job gains in the economy since December. Just 142,000 jobs were created in August, far below the 230,000 median expectation among economists.

The report also broke a six-month streak of job gains above 200,000.

Boehner said that weakness, coupled with a bleak Congressional Budget Office report from last week, is a bad sign for the economy. CBO's report said the economy would grow by just 1.5 percent in 2014, down from its 3.1 percent estimate in April.

The BLS report also showed that the labor force participation rate fell slightly in August to 62.8 percent, matching a low seen over the summer and way back in 1978. Most agree that this historically low rate is caused in part by frustrated workers who have stopped looking for work.

Earlier this week, the White House said the labor force participation rate has stabilized, although BLS has said it will continue to get worse over the next decade.

Jason Furman, who chairs the Obama administration's Council of Economic Advisers, dismissed the gloomy report by saying the U.S. has created 10 million jobs in the last four and a half years, and that the economy is still making gains.

"Although the pace of job gains in August was below recent months, the broader trends are moving in the right direction," he said Friday.

One last thing…
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