House Republicans intend to make the economy and jobs a major part of the new Contract With America they hope to unveil in September.
Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) has been charged with putting together the section on jobs, which Republicans see as a unifying policy position for a conference that unanimously rejected President Barack Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package last year.
Roskam said he’ll be meeting with small-business owners and other job creators rather than economists to develop the economic plank of a new conference platform.
“There’s a sense of clarity that jobs are something that we need to focus on, and who better to talk to than employers and small business[es] and job creators?” Roskam said. “Economists are interesting and charming and bright, but they are not running businesses.”
Republicans argue jobs will be a winning issue for them this fall, partly because they opposed a stimulus package that has enlarged the government and budget deficit while doing too little to stop a skyrocketing unemployment rate that now stands at 9.5 percent.
American Conservative Union (ACU) President David Keene said Republicans are wise to focus more on jobs and the economy instead of national-security or social issues.