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Chamber, AFL-CIO discuss jobs initiatives

Aug. 31, 2011 at 4:57 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- Policies emerging from Washington aren't creating economic growth, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said Wednesday at its annual Labor Day briefing.

Chamber leaders said in a release they will send a jobs plan next week to President Obama and Congress that outline "specific practical steps we can take to help quickly create new jobs."

In a separate announcement, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka Wednesday released a six-point job and economic initiative he said was "serious and reflects the scale of the crisis we face."

Chief on the chamber's wish list is the elimination of "regulatory barriers that are weighing down our economy," the chamber said in a release.

"Businesses want to expand and hire more workers, but they continue to be held back by a rising mountain of burdensome regulations coming out of Washington," Randy Johnson, the chamber's senior vice president, said.

The chamber said it would urge approval of trade agreements pending before Congress and investing in infrastructure projects, among other things.

The separate AFL-CIO initiative also calls for rebuilding the nation's transportation and energy infrastructure, as well as reviving U.S. manufacturing and putting people to work in local communities, Trumka said in a blog posted on the AFL-CIO Web site. The initiative also calls for an end to shipping U.S. jobs overseas.

The initiative also calls for help to state and local government to prevent layoffs and cuts to public services, extending unemployment insurance benefits and reforming Wall Street so it helps Main Street create jobs.

"The solutions we propose must be on the same scale as the problems we face. Half measures will not put America back to work," Trumka said in the blog. "Nor will the same old Wall Street economic policies that drove our economy into the ground in the first place."

"The economic data tells the story: The current policies coming out of Washington are not creating economic growth," the chamber's chief economist, Martin Regalia, said. "Both the administration and Congress need to come together to remove the barriers to job creation and open up new markets."

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