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Biden cheers jobs numbers, asks House to get back to work

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the September jobs report at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 06, 2023.

Kevin Dietsch | Getty Images

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden welcomed job growth news released Friday, but warned of the economic consequences that would ensue if House Republicans do not pass a funding bill to prevent a government shutdown next month.

“The unemployment rate has stayed below 4% for 20 months in a row, the longest stretch in 50 years,” Biden said at the White House.

“It’s no accident — it’s Bidenomics,” said the Democratic president, who is seeking reelection next year.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 336,000 jobs in September, well above the Dow Jones consensus estimate of 170,000 and more than 100,000 higher than the previous month, the U.S. Department of Labor said.

The unemployment rate was 3.8%, compared to the forecast of 3.7%.

The jobs report increase was the best monthly number since January.

Biden warned of the fallout the country would face if the House did not pass longer-term appropriations bills before the current continuing resolution expires next month.

“House Republicans shouldn’t put us back in a crisis again,” Biden said.

“We have only 40 days for Congress to get back to work — the same House Republicans are on recess now — to fund the government, avoid a shutdown and protect the tremendous gains Americans have made over the past two and a half years.”

The House on Tuesday ousted Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., as speaker, the first time a speaker has been kicked out of that position.

Hardline Republicans led by Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida pushed for McCarthy’s removal because, among other things, he worked with Democrats to pass a continuing resolution last weekend to keep the government open and avoid a shutdown.

The House is temporarily paralyzed from acting on new business until Republicans unite around a new speaker.

“It’s time to stop fooling around,” Biden said Friday.

“House Republicans, it’s time for you to do your job, continue our progress growing the economy, investing in America, investing in the American people. So let’s get to work for the American people. They’re waiting and they’re watching. We’ve got to get to work.”

Biden said he would try to work with whoever is ultimately elected speaker of the House.

“They control half the Congress and I’m going to try to work with them,” Biden said. “There’s some people I imagined it could be easier to work with than others but whoever the speaker is, I’ll try to work with them.”

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