Bloomberg News

Sperling Says $447 Billion Jobs Plan Critical to Avoid Recession

October 11, 2011

Oct. 11 (Bloomberg) -- A Senate vote today on a $447 billion jobs package is crucial to heading off a potential double-dip recession, a top economic adviser to President Barack Obama said.

“We’re sitting here looking at projections of 9 percent or higher unemployment next year, we’re looking at projections of weak growth, we’re looking at members of Congress willing to take a risk of even having a double-dip recession and doing nothing,” Gene Sperling, head of the White House National Economic Council, said on CNBC.

“This has overwhelmingly Democratic support,” Sperling said of the jobs proposal. When asked if it would pass, he responded, “You’re going to have to ask the Republicans.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, has scheduled a test vote later today on the legislation, which faces resistance from Republicans and some Democrats on its tax and spending provisions. Sixty votes will be needed to move the legislation forward; the Democrats control 53 seats in the Senate.

Earlier today, Obama’s senior adviser, David Plouffe, said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that if the jobs bill fails in the Senate, “that would be a tragedy for the country.”

--Editors: Leslie Hoffecker, Justin Blum

To contact the reporter on this story: Roger Runningen in Washington at rrunningen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at msilva34@bloomberg.net


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