Both sides use jobs report as evidence in infrastructure spending debate


WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — While Republicans take the dismal April jobs report as proof that President Joe Biden’s multitrillion-dollar spending proposal is not the right way to go, Democrats say it’s evidence that the money is needed to get the economy back on track.

The report released last week showed the economy gained fewer than 300,000 jobs in April, well below what was expected.

“We are making bold moves, but there’s a long way to go,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told CBS’ “Face the Nation” over the weekend. “People are still struggling; women, in particular, still struggling.”

More than 160,000 women left the workforce in April alone.

The Biden administration says the best way to help is by passing two massive spending plans, pouring billions into infrastructure and programs like paid family leave and child care.

“The reality is … we have fallen behind with our investments in the economy,” Raimondo said.

But Republicans are uninterested in the broad scope of the plans, saying they should focus on infrastructure.

“You talk about $7 trillion in spending in one year, and you’re not going to deficit spend? Grab your wallet,” Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “(It is) spending that inevitably ends up hurting the economy. Republicans show that when you let the American people keep their own money and invest in that which they wish to invest in, the economy takes off.”

Several Republican governors are now vowing to end extended federal unemployment benefits passed by Democrats. On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Gov. Spencer Cox of Utah argued the extra payments are deterring people from going back to work.

“The biggest problem we have right now in the state of Utah right now are finding workers,” he said.

Bipartisan negotiations on an infrastructure bill are expected to continue for the next two weeks.

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