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With Election Over, Jobs Report Gets Less Scrutiny

He'd speak from the White House, at small businesses in the Washington area or, often this year, at the start of campaign rallies in political swing states. He used his remarks to reassure the public and financial markets, or press Republicans to pass his proposals for jumpstarting the economy.

Congressional Republicans, and eventually Romney, would respond with vigor and cast the unemployment rate â¿¿ which peaked at 10 percent during Obama's first year in office â¿¿ as a sign that the president was leading the economy down a dangerous road and needed to be replaced.

With that opportunity gone following the Nov. 6 presidential election, and the unemployment picture improving, Republicans barely mentioned the jobless rate Friday. Instead, they used the monthly report to criticize Obama's willingness to go over the fiscal cliff unless Republicans drop their opposition to higher tax rates for the top 2 percent of income earners.

"The Democrats' plan to slow-walk our economy to the edge of the fiscal cliff instead of engaging in serious talks is a threat to our economy," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Friday.

Fiscal cliff negotiations between the White House and Republicans are at an impasse. Despite Obama's warning that he's willing to go over the cliff unless Republicans come around on taxes, the GOP is holding firm in its opposition to higher tax rates on the wealthy.

___

Follow Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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