Health secretary backs Obama: Jobs bill will create almost 2 million jobs [VIDEO]

Nicholas Ballasy Senior Video Reporter
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Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius backed a chief Moody’s economist in a speech before a U.S. Commerce Department conference Wednesday, saying that President Barack Obama’s jobs bill will “create almost 2 million badly needed jobs.”

“A chief economist at Moody’s [Mark Zandi] — someone who has advised both Republicans and Democrats — very recently has said that the American Jobs Act will add two percent of growth to the American economy and create almost 2 million badly needed jobs,” Sebelius said at the U.S. Commerce Department’s Annual Minority Enterprise Development Week conference on Wednesday.

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“Those are two very good reasons to pass the bill so I hope you add your voices and urge Congress to act now to pass the law and send it to the president, because we cannot afford to wait another 14 months for action.”

With Congress out of session, President Obama on Tuesday urged Congress to pass his bill now. Sebelius echoed his call. (RELATED: Obama to Congress: ‘What on earth are you waiting for?’)

“There’s not a single good reason not to pass the bill. These are bipartisan ideas. They’re completely paid for under the president’s plan, and if Congress wants different pay-fors they can substitute them and they[‘ll] directly address our country’s biggest need which is faster job growth, starting right away,” she said.

Republican Rep. James Lankford of Oklahoma, a member of the House Budget, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, disagreed, saying Obama’s jobs bill would not lower the nation’s 9.1 percent unemployment rate. (RELATED: Dems’ favorite ‘conservative Republican’ economist Mark Zandi is neither Republican nor conservative)

“I’m very glad we’re talking about it as the president, the House and the Senate … but if a trillion dollars did not solve the economic issues two years ago, throwing a half a trillion dollars at it now is not going to solve the economic issues. It’s the same stuff. It’s the same type of plan,” he told TheDC on September 23.

The White House predicted that the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, signed into law by President Obama in February 2009 would prevent the unemployment rate from rising above 8 percent. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated that stimulus law will ultimately cost taxpayers $821 billion.

The president’s job bill still has no cosponsors in the House or Senate.

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