Surprising to no one, Rep. Jim Moran and Rep. Eric Can’tor are taking very different approaches to the nation’s unemployment problem. While Rep. Moran is working to end hiring discrimination against the unemployed, Rep. Cantor is working to ensure there are no jobs for anyone to apply for in the first place.
As GreenMiles pointed out in his post this morning, Rep. Eric Can’tor joined his obstructionist pals Rep. McConnell, Speaker Boehner and Sen. Kyl in sending a letter to the Federal Reserve Bank asking Chairman Ben Bernanke to forgo any stimulus measures the Fed could take to reduce unemployment. The Board of the Federal Reserve will be meeting this week to determine the proper course of action to address high unemployment rates. Cantor’s advise for the Fed? Do nothing. Thankfully they did not listen and announced stimulus steps today.
Rep. Cantor is not helping the unemployed in his district and seems to be actively obfuscating others from doing anything to create jobs and stimulate the economy. During the debt ceiling debate, we got to see just how far Rep. Cantor would go to obstruct. Rep. Cantor calling on the Federal Reserve to sit on their hands is simply more of the same behavior we have come to expect. Meanwhile, Rep. Moran announced that he is co-sponsoring legislation, the Fair Employment Opportunity Act, which would ban hiring discrimination against unemployed job seekers. The legislation is the result of months of advocacy as part of a campaign to ban hiring discrimination. Today, US Action and other groups delivered 250,000 petition signatures, to the 46 members of Congress who are co-sponsoring the Fair Employment Opportunity Act.
The legislation is, in part, the result of a groundbreaking study published by the National Employment Law Project which showed that employers of all sizes in every region of the country are using recruitment and hiring policies that expressly deny employment to the unemployed – simply because they are not working.
President Obama’s American Jobs Act also includes a provision on banning jobless discrimination that is modeled on the Fair Employment Act. Rep. Cantor has declined comment on the jobless discrimination provision of the American Jobs Act. However, given his primary goal of opposing everything the President does, it’s safe to say the jobless discrimination provision, along with the entire jobs act is DOA in the House.