NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says Republicans in Congress don't have a plan to create jobs -- a statement Republicans in Congress dispute.
"Unless the Republicans are willing to do more things to help the economy right now, then unemployment will stay too high," Geither said in an interview that aired Wednesday with CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jessica Yellin.
The remarks came on the same day House Speaker John Boehner released a list of 132 American economists who he says support his "Plan for America's Job Creators," a collection of 22 bills passed by the Republican-led House but stuck in the Democrat-led Senate.
As part of that plan, the Republicans aim to reduce environmental and financial regulations, slash government spending, create job training programs for veterans, lift President Obama's ban on new offshore drilling and simplify the tax code.
"Do you buy it?," Yellin asked Geithner about the plan.
"Well, I haven't seen what he (Boehner) said," Geithner said. "And I don't think there is a Republican plan for tax reform. And there's no Republican plan to create jobs and economic growth."
Republicans were quick to respond. "Like the President, the Treasury Secretary appears to be paying more attention to campaign talking points than what's taking place in Congress," said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Boehner.
Roughly 14 million Americans are currently unemployed, leaving the nation with an unemployment rate that has stayed at or above 9% for 28 out of the last 30 months. Not surprisingly, job creation has become one the top campaign issues for the 2012 election.
In the CNN interview, Geithner defended Obama's efforts to stimulate the economy.
"I think the American economy today is in a dramatically better position than it was when he took office because of the tough decisions he took early on to put out the financial fires," he said.
Geithner cited health care reform as one of the things the president did "to make sure we were doing things to restore economic growth."
He also blamed temporary shocks such as rising oil prices, Japan's tsunami and earthquake, layoffs by state and local governments, and the debt ceiling debate for muting recent economic growth.
Geithner said that if Europe can make progress in solving its problems and Republicans work with the administration on the economy, "then we'll be stronger, we'll grow out of this mess more quickly, we'll start to heal the damage more quickly and we'll be better as a country for that."
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