Several Republicans to Skip Obama Job Speech

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Jobs Speech
President Obama is expected to propose a $300 billion economic stimulus package Thursday night.

 

Despite President Obama rescheduling his jobs speech to Congress at the request of Republicans, several Republicans have announced they won't be attending.

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), a tea party favorite, was first candidate to announce that he would not be attending the event, opting instead to meet with his constituents, The Washington Post reports.

Instead of being a prop of another one of the President's speeches, next Thursday I will fly home to IL to talk to real job creators, Walsh tweeted last week.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), another tea party favorite, also will not be attending the speech.

If [Obama] sent a written proposal over first, I would go hear him explain it, but frankly right now I'm so frustrated I don't think I'm going to go, DeMint told ABC News' Jon Karl.

With the NFL season opener taking place between the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers on Thursday night, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) will be hosting a New Orleans Saints party with family and friends, according to Fox News.

Other Republicans not attending the speech include Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.). Broun, however, will watch the speech from his congressional office as he hosts a live town hall via Twitter, The Post writes.

When asked about the absences, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, We think that's regrettable.

What's political is the decision not to attend. The President is addressing a joint session of Congress to talk about the economy, the American economy -- the need to grow the economy and to create jobs. I think that's a goal shared by Republicans of all political persuasions, Carney said, according to The Post.

The speech to Congress has been dogged by political fighting. Originally, Obama looked to address Congress Wednesday evening, but Speaker John Boehner declined, citing votes the House was scheduled to take. A Republican presidential debate also coincided with the tentative speech date, and many Republicans were concerned that the president's speech would usurp the candidates' platform.

Furthermore, Nancy Pelosi criticized Republicans for not offering an official GOP response to the president's speech, according to ABC News.

In nearly 250 days of being in the majority, House Republicans have not passed a single piece of legislation to create jobs, Pelosi said Tuesday night in a statement. The Republican silence on Thursday evening will speak volumes about their lack of commitment to creating jobs.

Republican leadership has countered that Boehner is opening Statuary Hall to media at the conclusion of the speech to provide reactions.

 

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