Federal Jobs Programs

Archive Report

Unemployment Dilemma

Growimg Pressure on Congress to Respond

The Debate over whether the federal government should create jobs to ease unemployment during economic downturns dominated the stormy lame-duck session of Congress. Motivated by unemployment statistics that had reached double digits for the first time since the Great Depression, congressional Democrats and many Republicans supported a variety of jobs bills introduced during the four-week special session. They even went so far as to attempt to attach a jobs bill to the continuing resolution needed to keep the government running. President Reagan's threat to veto such a resolution, which would have led to a partial shutdown of the government, caused jobs-bill advocates to back down at least until the 98th Congress convenes in January. But even the president ...

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