The Washington Times - January 21, 2011, 02:37PM

Vermont independent Sen. Bernard Sanders — perhaps the most liberal member of Congress — blasted President Obama on Friday for naming General Electric Co. CEO Jeffrey Immelt to head a new White House Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

Mr. Sanders says GE chiarman has been outspoken about job growth – not in the United States but in China. 

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“I hope [Mr. Immelt] changes his mind and focuses on rebuilding the manufacturing sector here in the United States, not in China, and in the process creates millions of good-paying jobs,” Mr. Sanders said.

“For the sake of our manufacturing sector and the collapsing middle class, let’s hope that Mr. Immelt’s appointment by President Obama indicates a transformation in his thinking.”

Since 2009 GE has closed more than 25 manufacturing plants in the United States and slashed thousands of jobs, said Mr. Sanders, citing data from the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America. 

Mr. Sanders says GE employs more workers overseas than it does in the United States. And while GE has laid off at least 10,000 workers in the United States, it has created more than 30,000 jobs in India over the past decade, he said.

“It is time for GE and other large and profitable corporations to start investing in America again.”