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New Senate GOP Message: Obama Agenda Hurts Job Growth

Senate Republicans plan to launch a fresh, coordinated attack against the Democrats and President Barack Obama on Thursday by charging that the administration’s agenda is hampering economic growth and depressing job creation.

The new messaging strategy was presented to Senate Republicans by GOP Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) during Tuesday’s weekly caucus lunch and was developed as a counter-punch to the Democrats’ renewed focus on jobs. The effort is set to begin with a Thursday morning news conference, featuring Republican Sens. John Barrasso (Wyo.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Orrin Hatch (Utah) and George LeMieux (Fla.).

“The Obama agenda adds up to fewer jobs. A good way to create more jobs is to change the agenda,” Alexander said.

Democrats and the White House continue to hammer Senate Republicans over their opposition to extending unemployment benefits on an emergency basis and to the financial regulatory overhaul, which is headed for final passage with just a few GOP votes.

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are pushing legislation aimed at helping small businesses, with the White House touting the ongoing benefits of the $787 billion stimulus package enacted in February 2009.

Senate Republicans are responding with a messaging assault that will tie Obama administration policies to the nation’s 9.5 percent unemployment rate and tepid, although steady, economic growth rate. This strategy is set to be the GOP’s focus at least through the beginning of the August recess.

Republicans will argue that the enacted health care overhaul, the financial regulatory legislation, and calls for energy and climate change legislation are directly responsible for weak private-sector job growth and businesses’ reluctance to invest. Republicans also plan to hit the administration over the oil-drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico and the federal deficit.

“Why fewer jobs? Obama agenda makes it harder to create jobs,” read one slide Alexander used during his Tuesday presentation.

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