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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Blame Congress! President Obama fighting to keep his job despite a slow economic recovery and Congress’s approval rating hitting a record low. So is the president trying to cash in on America’s disdain for Congress? Here’s what he just told union workers.
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BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Over the last year, I’ve sent Congress a whole series of jobs bills to put people to work, to put your members back to work.
Again and again, I’ve said, Now’s the time to do this. Interest rates are low. Construction workers are out of work. Contractors are begging for work and the work needs to be done. Let’s do it. And time after time, the Republicans have gotten together and they’ve said no.
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VAN SUSTEREN: Congressman Jeb Hensarling is the chair of the House Republican conference. He joins us. Good evening, sir. And the economy is very…
REP. JEB HENSARLING, R-TEXAS: Good evening.
VAN SUSTEREN: … very sluggish, very slow recovery. And the president has identified the problem. It’s you, you guys, the Republicans. What’s the story with trying to create jobs for the American people?
HENSARLING: Well, first, Greta, I don’t think there’s a president in living memory who has less credibility on the topic of jobs and the economy than Barack Obama. He told the American people if we’d pass his stimulus plan, unemployment would never go beyond 8 percent, and in fact, it would be 6 percent now. And as you well know, we’ve had 38 straight months of 8 percent-plus unemployment, the worst record since the Great Depression!
We were told if we passed his health care plan that it would help the economy. We know now the Congressional Budget Office says it’ll cost us almost a million jobs. Frankly, private economists put the number much higher.
He told us if we’d pass the Dodd-Frank act, supposedly aimed at Wall Street, that would help the economy. Instead, what we see is that the big banks are getting bigger, the small banks are getting smaller and the taxpayer is getting poorer.
So with all due respect to the president, I don’t think he’d know a jobs bill if he tripped over it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I think…
HENSARLING: You know, House Republicans have passed over 30 different jobs bills, and with one or two exceptions, he’s ignored them all. People can go who are viewing your show to Jobsgop.gov and see what we’ve done. And Greta, it’s mainly aimed at making the tax code fairer, flatter, simpler, more competitive, trying to make — balance these regulations against the cost of jobs.
VAN SUSTEREN: Congressman…
HENSARLING: It has everything to do with bringing down the cost of energy. Yes?
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, I’ve — I’ve looked at it, I mean, and I — and there are so many of these. Like, there’s the Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act passed in the House but stalled in the Senate, Access to Capital for Job Create Act, passed in the House, stalled in the Senate.
I mean, it’s, like — and there’s a whole list…
HENSARLING: You see a pattern developing there?
VAN SUSTEREN: … and I mean, I — yes, I mean, I — no, no, I realize I’ve got — I’ve got a whole list of them because I went to the website, and it is very disturbing. I think the president should call Senator Harry Reid and say, you know, Let’s stop playing. You pass yours, and then we’ll send them both to conference and you — and the House and the Senate can work them up so the Americans can have some relief.
Now, I do think, though, that the president probably is jabbing you a little bit because the Senate while has passed the transportation bill which does, you know, much towards going towards construction and infrastructure in the country and creating jobs, is that the House can’t seem to do it but does these sort of continuing resolutions.
So the — it’s not totally — the House is not totally blame-free on this. So I mean, everybody’s got a little bit of responsibility here. But I blame the House — I blame the Senate more on simply not — not writing their own bills so that these can go to conference.
HENSARLING: Well, number one, we will go to conference on a transportation bill. Infrastructure is important. But nobody believes that is the panacea. I mean, again, the president’s policies have failed. He is, you know, presiding over an economy where half of all Americans now are either classified by the Census Bureau as being either in poverty or in low income. Single mothers, you have more of them in poverty than ever before. Small businesses are, frankly, just throwing up their hands at the regulatory and red tape onslaught.
And so again, this is a president who, because he can’t run on his record on jobs and economy…