"The most serious domestic challenge we face is reducing the intolerable level of unemployment. We can attack this problem by promoting economic growth, encouraging public sector jobs, meeting structural problems and relieving human suffering.

"Unprecedented deficits and federal borrowing are incompatible with healthy private-sector growth. To cut the deficit, we must scale back the rate of increase in defense spending, enact health-care cost containment, repeal tax-code indexation and cap the third year of the tax cut for the wealthy.

"Today, we need more public investment to rebuild our roads, buildings, parks and public facilities--and move toward full employment. The jobs bill now before Congress should be larger, as it would have been without the president's veto threat.

"A good jobs bill should maximize the number of jobs created and ensure that they contribute to long-term growth. And it should do more to lessen the dangerous level of youth unemployment, particularly in the inner cities.

"Government must help business and labor cooperate in revitalizing our basic industries. Ambitious programs must be created to retrain displaced workers. We must commit ourselves to better education at every level, with special emphasis on mathematics, science instruction and vocational education aimed at entry-level jobs in growth industries. And we must expand the national pool of scientists, engineers and skilled craftspeople.

"We cannot wait for economic growth to relieve immediate human suffering. We must go beyond current legislation to further extend unemployment benefits, provide health care for the jobless, strengthen the Low-Income Energy Assistance program and help people keep their homes until they regain their jobs.

"One way the federal government can help states is to relieve the burden of interest payments on the state unemployment insurance debts."