Congress has a shot at passing jobs-creating bills

August 7, 2011 - 9:15 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Congress returns to work after Labor Day it will have the opportunity to achieve a goal that has largely eluded it by passing bills that might actually create some jobs.

Three free-trade agreements — with South Korea, Panama and Colombia — and the most significant overhaul of the patent system in 60 years could all win passage and be signed into law in September. Supporters say the South Korea agreement alone could mean 70,000 more U.S. jobs from increased exports and by opening Korea's service market to American companies.

Both the trade and patent measures have bipartisan support from lawmakers eager to show they can do something to improve the feeble job market. President Barack Obama has said he's eager to sign them.