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House Democrats Given Jobs Message to Take Home at Recess

Fresh off their messaging-heavy issues retreat, House Democrats will return to their home districts next week with marching orders to focus on their top priority for the year: jobs.

The three pillars of the party’s economic message are creating jobs, reducing the deficit and strengthening the middle class. According to documents from the office of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) obtained by Roll Call, Democrats will focus on the economic benefits of the health care overhaul law and the number of jobs that were created in 2010, when the party still held the majority in the House. Democrats will also blast the Republican majority for pushing messaging bills during the first weeks of the new legislative session. 

“So far, Republicans have failed to address the American people’s top priority,” a memo from Pelosi’s office states. “Indeed, since being in charge, they have not brought one single bill to the floor that would create jobs or offer a credible plan to reduce the deficit. Democrats are prepared to work with Republicans to create jobs.”

Democrats will also tout their “Make It in America” agenda, a manufacturing jobs initiative that is central to the party’s strategy to win back the majority in the 2012 election cycle.

The first week in February marks the first recess for House Members this year. Democratic Members have been instructed to host town halls, live or by telephone, focusing on the economy during their week back home. Events focusing on local small businesses and the “Make It in America” agenda are encouraged, and appearances at job fairs, manufacturing plants and community colleges are suggested. 

The push for public appearances follows the Jan. 8 shooting at a constituent event hosted by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) in Tucson, Ariz. Giffords is recuperating from a head wound, and six people were killed in the attack. The upcoming recess will be the first since the shooting, although Members have returned to their districts since then.

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