Support For The American Jobs Act: Then & Now

For Immediate Release:

September 13, 2011

Contact:

Katie GrantDaniel Reilly, 202-225-3130

With President Obama sending the American Jobs Act to Congress on Monday, we here in the Democratic Whip Press Office thought we would take a look back at Congressional Republicans’ words and votes on many of the ideas central to President Obama’s proposal.

Since the American Jobs Act contains many bipartisan ideas, there is no reason not to bring this bill to the floor as soon as possible, especially since Republicans have yet to offer a jobs plan of their own.

And just in case Republicans need a little reminder:

Infrastructure:

THEN:

  • Just last week, Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor signaled their willingness to create jobs by improving our aging infrastructure: “We are not opposed to initiatives to repair and improve infrastructure.” [Joint letter to President Obama, 09/06/11]
  • Both Sens. Lindsey Graham and Kay Bailey Hutchison are co-sponsors of a bill to create a national infrastructure bank: “The Kerry bill, co-sponsored by Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), would create an independent, nonprofit bank that would leverage private investment into infrastructure projects. The bill was introduced in March.” [The Hill, 06/08/11]

NOW:

The American Jobs Act:

  • Invests $50 billion in highways, transit, rail and aviation – an investment that is supported by both the Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO.
  • Establishes a National Infrastructure Bank to leverage private and public sector capital to expand and invest in infrastructure.
  • Invests $15 billion in a national effort to rehabilitate and refurbish hundreds of thousands of vacant and foreclosed homes and businesses.

Payroll Tax Relief for Small Businesses:

THEN:

  • Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell endorses the idea: “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said an idea that emerged…was a two-year suspension of the payroll tax. ‘It would put a lot of money back in the hands of businesses and in the hands of individuals,’ McConnell said. ‘Republicans, generally speaking, from Maine to Mississippi, like tax relief.’” [US News, 01/13/09]
  • Bill to extend the Bush tax cuts contained extension of the Payroll Tax Credit, passes overwhelmingly in 2010: The Bill Passed in the House 277-148 and 81-19 in the Senate. [Washington Post, 12/17/10, Vote 276, 12/15/10, Vote 647, 12/17/10]

NOW:

The American Jobs Act:

  • Cuts the payroll tax in half for small businesses first $5 million in wages.
  • Cuts payroll taxes in half for 160 million workers next year, providing a tax cut of $1,500 to a typical family earning $50,000 a year.

Tax Breaks for Companies to Hire Veterans:

THEN:

  • House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller introduced Tax Credit To Hire Veterans Act Of 2011: “I am delighted that President Obama is willing to join forces with Congress to stem veteran unemployment. One of my top priorities as Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs has been ensuring that America’s veterans can find meaningful employment when they return home.” [Press release, 08/05/11]

NOW:

The American Jobs Act:

  • Includes a “returning heroes” hiring tax credit for veterans, which provides tax credits from $5,600 to $9,600 to encourage companies to hire unemployed veterans.

Click here to read the pdf.