(CNSNews.com) - House Speaker John Boehner announced on Thursday that he will host more than a dozen private-sector "job creators" in the House gallery during President Obama's "jobs" speech to a joint session of Congress.
Boehner said Republicans are reaching out to American employers whose businesses are being hampered by government regulations and Obamacare.
The guests include Henry Juszkiewicz, the CEO of the Gibson Guitar Company, which has been raided twice by armed federal agents. No charges have been filed and according to Boehner, federal regulators have not explained to the company what it may have done wrong or how to rectify the situation.
Another guest is Spencer Weitman, the president of National Cement, which recently suspended construction of a new $350 million cement kiln in Ragland, Alabama because of regulatory obstacles.
Other business people invited to sit in the House gallery include an Illinois farmer, the CEO of a Chicago metal casting firm, a Texas banker, and the CEO of a hair salon chain, all of them with stories of how the government has crimped their ability to expand.
A Colorado man reportedly will sit in President Obama's corner -- right next to Obama's wife, Michelle. The Denver Post says 43-year-old Kirk Bergstrom of Centennial is an engineer who was working part time at a Target store last year, until he got a job at a constuction firm that is working on a commuter railroad project boosted by a federal grant.
According to the Associated Press, Obama is expected to offer a package that includes tax relief, unemployment insurance, spending to support construction jobs, and aid to states to keep people in their jobs. Businesses would get their own tax breaks. And he reportedly will promise a long-term plan to pay for it all. The price tag is reported to be in the $300- to $400-billion range.