WASHINGTON--When President Obama delivers his jobs speech tonight before a joint session of Congress, the House gallery will be full of guests--many invited by Democrats or Republicans to make a point, such as a man from Atkinson, Ill. who pleaded with Obama last month at a town hall in the western Illinois town to "not challenge us" with more regulations.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the number two leader in the Senate, is bringing Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan as his guest to the joint session.
On the GOP side, Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) the chief deputy whip put together a list of "job creators" on behalf of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio.), some of whom say they have been hobbled by the federal government--either through regulations or some bureaucratic action.
One of Roskams picks is Rock Katschnig is a corn and soybean farmer from Prophetstown, Ill. Last month, when Obama hosted a town hall at Wyffels Hydrids, a corn seed company, in Atkinson, Katschnig told Obama to applause--I was there covering the town hall and saw and heard how his question resonated-- "Please don't challenge us with more rules and regulations from Washington, D.C., that hinder us from doing that. We would prefer to start our day in a tractor cab or combine cab rather than filling out forms and permits to do what we'd like to do."
Another Roskam guest is Eric Treiber is the CEO of Chicago White Metal Casting, who according to a release heads "a third-generation family-owned die casting company employing 250 workers in suburban Chicago. Jobs at White Metal Casting are being threatened by increased costs associated with excessive federal regulations, in particular Clean Air Act and utility MACT regulations."