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Bill Radke: The February unemployment rate comes out in a couple of hours, and it’s expected to be more grim news. So it was timely that the House passed its $15 billion jobs bill yesterday. Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall Genzer reports Congress wants to show it’s doing something to put Americans to work.
Nancy Marshall Genzer: The House bill is a scaled-down version of a measure the Senate passed last week. Democratic leaders in the Senate had hoped the House would pass the Senate bill as is so it could be sent to President Obama before today’s numbers came out. But the Senate isn’t expected to consider the revised bill until next week.
Still, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs is trying to convey a sense of urgency. He says this is just the beginning of Democrat’s efforts to bring down the unemployment rate.
Robert Gibbs: The president is not going to be satisfied that we’ve taken all the steps or made all the progress that’s necessary to get our economy moving again and to begin to put the 8.4 [million] to 8.5 million that have lost their jobs since this recession bgan in 2007 back to work.
Democrats are hoping to pass at least four more jobs bills in the next few weeks. Those bills would extend unemployment benefits, increase lending to small businesses and give states aid so they don’t have to lay off public employees like teachers and police officers.
In Washington, I’m Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.
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