Obama Administration Accused of Manipulating Jobs Data For Political Purposes
Darrell Issa, the GOP Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee accused the Obama Administration of manipulating how the Department of Labor reports information related to jobs. In a hearing on Wednesday the Chairman said that the President is manipulating the data for “clearly political reasons”.
Issa made the accusation during a committee hearing on how the Obama Administration counts “green jobs” and the Labor Department’s recent change in how journalists are allowed to access important unemployment reports.
Issa said during the hearing,
“[The Labor Department]has jeopardized the integrity of employment data in some cases for clearly political reasons,”
Issa cited as examples that the Obama Administration reclassified jobs like welder, college professor and diesel mechanic as “green jobs”. He said that the reclassification was done to show that the billions of dollars of taxpayer money spent through the federal stimulus program have created alternative energy jobs. Alternative energy jobs has been one of Obama’s top initiatives.
“It’s about politics. It’s always been about politics. If you work at the Salvation Army, that’s a green job.”
The Democrats were quick to jump on Issa’s suggestions. The committee’s ranking Democrat, Representative Elijah Cummings, said that the number of “green jobs” created by the President was way higher than the 3 million they take credit for.
Cummings said of the committee’s work,
“Unfortunately, this committee seems more intent on challenging the methodologies used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics rather than helping put people back to work,”
The second issue addressed by the committee is the Labor Department’s recent rule change that in order for journalists trying to access jobs data would be required to use government issued software, a charge some are saying violates free speech laws.
Daniel Moss, a Bloomberg News executive editor, testifying at the hearing said,
“This proposal threatens the First Amendment,”