US House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Democrat / California) speaks to the press about the upcoming House vote on the latest bill from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Democrat / Nevada) on raising the debt ceiling, July 30, 2011, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, DC. UPI Photo/Mike Theiler | License Photo
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- GOP lawmakers have passed bills to "destroy up to 2 million jobs" and rejected 10 Democratic job-creation bills, U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said.
Democrats believe "nothing is more critical to Americans' economic security than good-paying jobs," Pelosi, D-Calif., wrote in an op-ed piece in USA Today.
But House Republicans appear to see things differently, she said.
"During more than 200 days in the majority, House Republicans have put our economy at risk by threatening a first-ever default on our debt and refusing to propose legislation to create jobs," her commentary said.
"Instead, they've passed bills that would destroy up to 2 million jobs -- nearly 10,000 jobs per day," she said. "And every time Democrats have brought a jobs initiative to the floor -- 10 times so far -- Republicans voted 'no.'"
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, had no immediate comment.
Most lawmakers left Washington this week after approving a plan to raise the federal debt limit and cut government spending, heading back to their congressional districts until the second week of September while Congress is on summer recess.
Pelosi's commentary was published as the Labor Department said new claims for unemployment insurance fell by 1,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 400,000.
The slight jobless-benefits decline followed a 21,000 decline the previous week, revised from an originally reported 24,000 drop.
Economists say the latest figures point to persistent weakness in the labor market.
The Labor Department is expected to release its July jobs report Friday, with many economists forecasting the unemployment rate would remain at 9.2 percent and new jobs created would show a net growth of 90,000 to 120,000 -- 120,000 to 150,000 jobs in the private sector and a loss of 30,000 government jobs.
President Barack Obama said Wednesday, after the Senate approved the debt measure, he would now focus on creating "new jobs, higher wages and faster economic growth."