Bloomberg News

Geithner Says Congress Failure to Act on Jobs a Growth Risk

October 25, 2011

(Updates with Geithner comments on the economy in the sixth paragraph.)

Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said today economic growth depends on whether Congress acts on the president’s jobs plan.

If Congress acts on the proposals “then growth will be stronger and unemployment will be lower and you’ll see more Americans back to work,” Geithner said in a CBS ‘Evening News’ interview. “If they don’t act, then we risk a weaker economy and higher unemployment.”

Geithner blamed Republicans for blocking President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs proposal. Geithner was in North Carolina today to promote the jobs package, which includes $60 billion for roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he will seek a vote on the infrastructure measure. Democrats failed in their first attempt to move forward on a part of the overall jobs proposal. The Senate on Oct. 20 blocked a provision that would provide $35 billion to help prevent dismissals of public-sector employees.

“Without Republicans willing to move on tax cuts for the average American, tax cuts for businesses, infrastructure investments to rebuild America, then the economy will be weaker,” Geithner told CBS. “That’s a basic reality. It’s not a political judgment.”

Geithner said the economy is not growing fast enough and its strength depends on Europe resolving its debt crisis and Congress acting on the jobs plan.

“If Congress does not act on these proposals in the president’s Jobs Act then taxes go up for all Americans -- most Americans,” Geithner said. “They go up for most businesses. Growth will be weaker. More Americans will be out of work longer.”

--Editors: Kevin Costelloe, Carlos Torres

To contact the reporters on this story: Cheyenne Hopkins at Chopkins19@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net


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