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Entries in Jobs Bill (27)

Sunday
Jan292012

Boehner: House Likely to Attach Keystone Approval to New Jobs Bill

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Speaker John Boehner said that the House will try again to tie approval for the Keystone pipeline project to a new jobs bill being introduced next week.

“All options are on the table. If it’s not enacted before we take up the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, it’ll be part of it,” Boehner said of the Keystone project, which would extend an oil pipeline from Canada through the United States.

Boehner led an unsuccessful effort to attach approval of the Keystone project to the extension of the payroll tax cut in December, but had to back down after not securing Senate support.

The Obama administration declined approval for the pipeline extension after saying they did not have enough time to study the environmental impact, drawing criticism from conservatives who say the project would create needed jobs.

“Now that the president has decided for political reasons that we’re not going to move ahead just yet, not until after the election… we’re going to have to find another way to lean on the Senate, to take this issue up, because the Keystone pipeline will create … over 100,000 indirect jobs,” Boehner said on This Week.

This is the epitome of a shovel-ready job project that the president should be approving, Boehner said, adding that if he doesn’t approve it, Congress should.

While Republicans will likely tie the Keystone project to the new jobs bill, Boehner said that “there will be no earmarks in this bill.”

“One of our great successes of last year is that we passed all these bills, done good work, working with the Senate, with no earmarks,” Boehner said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov222011

Obama Will Urge Congress to Act on Payroll Tax Extension

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(MANCHESTER, N.H.) -- President Obama is scheduled to travel to New Hampshire on Tuesday to urge lawmakers to extend and expand the payroll tax cut, a key provision of his $447 billion jobs bill.

“If Congress fails to extend the current payroll tax cut, taxes will go up on millions of people at a time when families are struggling to make ends meet,” a White House official said.

The president’s proposal would provide a tax cut for 160 million workers by increasing the payroll tax cut from 2.0 percent to 3.1 percent, “providing a significant boost to consumers and the economy,” according to the White House.

The plan would also cut payroll taxes nearly in half for small businesses -- from 6.1 to 3.1 percent -- on the first $5 million in wages for employers and provide a payroll tax holiday on any increase in payroll for firms that hire new workers or increase wages.

“With the holiday season approaching, the president will urge Congress to act not just to ensure that taxes don’t go up on middle class families at the beginning of the year, but also to cut taxes for families and small businesses in the American Jobs Act to help strengthen the recovery and create jobs now,” the official said.

In a speech he is scheduled to deliver in Manchester, N.H., the president will also unveil a new web tool that will allow Americans to see how much money they could save if Congress passes the jobs act and how much their taxes will go up if Congress fails to act.

The president will also meet with a local family before delivering remarks at Manchester High School Central.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov022011

Reid on Jobs Bill Debate: GOP 'Being Led Like Puppets' by Grover Norquist

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As the Senate this week takes up the next piece of the jobs bill -- a $70 billion bill to rebuild roads, bridges and infrastructure -- Senate Majority Leader, D-Nev., Tuesday took aim at anti-tax activist Grover Norquist for holding back Senate Republicans.
 
“My Republican friends, these poor folks, are being led like puppets by Grover Norquist,” Reid said Tuesday following the Senate Democrats weekly caucus luncheon. “They are giving speeches that we should compromise on our deficit but never do they compromise on Grover Norquist. He is their leader.”
 
Republicans have been consistently against the provision within each piece of the jobs bill that the Senate has plucked out and attempted, to no avail, to pass because of their opposition to the included tax on millionaires as a way to pay for the measure. In the most recent piece of Obama’s jobs bill the Senate is taking up, the “Rebuild America Jobs Act,” which invests $50 billion in immediate projects for roads, rails and airports and another $10 billion for a National Infrastructure Bank, the bill is paid for by a 0.7-percent surcharge of Americans making over $1 million.
 
Senator Reid Tuesday said that he wants to get their jobs bill done, “but it’s impossible to do with Grover Norquist leading the charge for the Republicans.”
 
Norquist responded via Twitter to Reid, tweeting Tuesday afternoon, “Hey Harry Reid: if I became a Buddhist monk and moved to Himalayas no pledge taker would help you raise taxes. They Promised their voters.”
 
Senate Minority Leader McConnell said the Senate should focus time on passing legislation that has bipartisan support, noting that the Democratic plan right now seems to be to just push bills, like the current infrastructure jobs bill, that they know can’t pass and then “complain” when they aren’t.
 
McConnell said he will likely offer a Republican alternative to the infrastructure bill this week, noting that infrastructure is “pretty popular” but not in its current form with tax increases.
 
Senate Republicans are also putting pressure on Reid this week to take up another piece of Obama’s jobs bill, legislation which repeals a requirement that governments withhold 3 percent of payments to contractors, which the House of Representatives passed last week.
 
The Senate has failed to reach an agreement on the measure two weeks ago. Tuesday, Reid suggested the measure should be amended in the Senate.
 
“I think we should amend it and make sure that those people who are not delinquent in their taxes, they get the benefit of what we’re trying to do,” Reid said, “Those that are not don’t. Those that are delinquent in their taxes, you’d still withhold the money from them.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct202011

Senate Votes Against Pieces of Jobs Bill

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Senate Thursday night held two late-night votes on individual pieces of President Obama's jobs bill, both of which were not agreed to. Both sides blamed the other for being obstructionists.

The first cloture vote was on the Senate Democrats' $35 billion aid package to help state and local governments provide funding for teachers, police officers and firefighters, which the White House and Democrats have been pushing all week.

The measure needed 60 votes to advance but it was stopped by a 50-50 vote. All Republicans and three Democratic senators (Mark Pryor, D-Ark., Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., and Ben Nelson, D-Neb.) voted against the measure.

“Republicans unanimously blocked a bill that would have kept 400,000 teachers in the classroom and first responders on the job because they refuse to ask millionaires to pay their fair share,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said following the vote. “Unfortunately, protecting millionaires and defeating President Obama are more important to my Republican colleagues than creating jobs and getting our economy back on track."

The second cloture vote was on a measure proposed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., which would have repealed a three-percent withholding provision of federal government contractors.

Despite having numerous Democratic co-sponsors and being an original part of President Obama’s job plan, the measure was voted down.

The measure similarity needed 60 votes to advance but it was stopped by a 57-43 vote. Ten Democrats voted with the Republicans: Senators Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Al Franken, D-Minn., Kay Hagan, D-N.C., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Bill Nelson, D-Fla. and Jon Tester, D-Mont.

“It’s hard to understand why Democrats would block this bipartisan effort to protect jobs -- a provision of the president’s bill,” McConnell said after the vote. “I’ve said a number of times in recent days that the President doesn’t want Congress to pass his jobs bill; he wants to blame Republicans and use it on the campaign trail. Tonight’s vote underscores that Senate Democrat leadership simply isn’t interested in passing bipartisan legislation that can actually help our job creators expand their businesses and hire new workers.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

Thursday
Oct202011

GOP Senator: Biden Remarks Are 'Over the Top,' a 'Sign of Desperation' 

Bill Clark/Roll Call/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo., has called Vice President Biden’s comments in Philadelphia made on Tuesday “over the top” and a “sign of desperation.”

On Tuesday at the University of Pennsylvania, the vice president said that one argument he’s “heard from my friends who oppose” the jobs bill is that “this is just temporary.”

“It’s not temporary when that 911 call comes in and a woman’s being raped if a cop shows up in time to prevent the rape,” Biden said. “It’s not temporary to the guy whose store is being held up and a gun is being pointed to his head,” he continued, “if a cop shows up and he’s not killed, that’s not temporary to that store owner...I wish these guys that thought it's temporary, I wish they had some notion what it’s like to be on the other side of a gun. Or a 200-pound man standing over you telling you to submit. “

On Thursday, Senator Barrasso laid into Vice President Biden, saying that he is just trying to scare people into supporting the jobs bill, showing that he has “doubts” that this piece of the jobs bill is going to work.

“Vice President Biden made a number of comments that I believe were over the top,” Senator Barrasso said at a press conference Thursday. “The vice president is attempting to use fear tactics on the American people and really, to me, shows a sign of desperation of the vice president and of this administration because they realize that their policies have failed the American people.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct192011

Vice President Joe Biden Rallies for Jobs Bill on Capitol Hill

Joe Raedle/Getty Images (WASHINGTON) -- Vice President Joe Biden and a group of Senate Democrats rallied on Capitol Hill Wednesday with firefighters, teachers, nurses and police officers for passage of the $35 billion piece of the jobs bill that is on the Senate floor this week.

“This is an emergency,” Biden told the crowd. “I say to the American people: Watch your senator. Watch him or her choose. Are you going to put 400,000 school teachers back in classrooms? Are you going to put 18,000 cops back in the street and 7,000 firefighters back in the firehouses? Or are you going to save people with average incomes of $1 million a one-half of one-percent increase in tax on every dollar they make over a million?”

Moments later, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced that Democrats are “going to make sure there is a vote on our bill this week.”

Reid will file cloture Wednesday night on the bill, which sets up a Friday vote in the Senate before it adjourns for a week-long recess next week.

“Real people will get real relief right now,” the vice president said of the bill, which has little chance of passing in the Senate.

Biden slightly toned down rhetoric he used Tuesday at the University of Pennsylvania, but continued to mock the Republicans’ claim that the jobs bill is only a temporary solution.

“There’s nothing temporary about kindergarten being eliminated because it has an effect in that child the rest of their life,” Biden said. “There is nothing temporary about the child that gets 20 percent less attention in the early years of class because class size has increased by 20 to 30 percent. There is nothing temporary about the life saved in a home invasion or a robbery because a squad car is able to get there in five minutes and not in 30 minutes. There’s nothing temporary about that for real, live people.”

Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill., echoed that sentiment, quipping, “I’d like to ask my friends in the Republican side of the Senate, who are all against us, one basic question: What would you think if you dialed 911 and a billionaire answered the phone? When we dial 911, we want these men and women standing behind me answering that phone, the call of duty, risking their lives for us every day. We want to make sure those teachers are there for our children and grandchildren. We’re not here to protect millionaires; we’re here to protect America.”

Biden noted that Republicans are against the bill because of the way proposed to pay for it: a 0.5-percent surtax on people earning more than $1 million. But Biden said it should not be a hard choice for anyone to make given the teachers and first responders who need jobs now. He attempted to put it into perspective for the crowd.

“It doesn’t affect anybody who makes $999,000,” Biden said. “It doesn’t affect anybody who makes $999,900.99.  And even when it affects the guy who makes $1,000,001, it only affects that $1.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct172011

Senate Dems Announce First Piece of Jobs Bill to Be Taken Up 

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Democrats on Monday announced the first piece of President Obama’s jobs bill that they will take up – a $35 billion aid package to help state and local governments provide funding for teachers, police officers and firefighters. They say the package would create or save approximately 400,000 jobs.

Thirty billion dollars of that total would be invested to help avoid teacher layoffs and hire more teachers in schools.

“Nearly 300,000 teacher jobs...are at risk and so is the quality of our education system,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV., announced on the Senate floor Monday. “Unless school districts get a helping hand, many more will be forced to make more difficult choices, between laying off educators, going without school books, paper and other supplies. Democrats will pursue the president's plan to keep teachers and support staff where they belong, in the classroom.”

The rest of the money -- $5 billion -- would be invested to retain police, firefighters and first responders.

“Our communities cannot afford to lose the men and women who keep us safe and secure, and our nation cannot afford to lose the competitive edge the world-class education system gives us in a constantly changing world,”  Reid said.

The measure would be paid for by the 0.5-percent tax on millionaires. Reid indicated each next piece taken up on the jobs bill would also be paid for by the millionaires surtax.

Reid will introduce the bill on the floor Monday and will decide in the next day or two when voting will happen.

Reid says he will take up one piece of the jobs bill per week.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct132011

President Obama Phones Boehner, Gets an Earful

Pete Souza/The White House(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama placed a phone call to House Speaker John Boehner Thursday afternoon to congratulate him on passing three free trade agreements through the House of Representatives Wednesday, but what started as a courtesy call ended with the two leaders disagreeing over job creation.

According to a read-out of the phone call provided by the office of the speaker, once the president and speaker finished exchanging niceties over the FTAs, Boehner “respectfully challenged” Obama for saying he had not yet seen a plan from Republicans to create jobs.

“I want to make sure you have all the facts,” the speaker told the president during a phone call that lasted about 10 minutes, according to the read-out.

The speaker then reminded the president that House Republicans put forth a Plan for America’s Job Creators in May, and recalled that he and other members of the GOP leadership team had spoken with Obama and his staff about the plan and they’d referred to it on numerous occasions, including in letters addressed to the president.

Boehner and Obama also discussed transportation and infrastructure, and the speaker expressed his desire to act on the issue, but to act in a fiscally-responsible way, the speaker’s office read out stated.

Asked to comment Thursday evening, the White House would not provide details from the phone call, but reiterated that the president has not given up on his jobs package.

“The president called speaker Boehner today to thank him for his efforts to help pass the three trade agreements,” Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said. “We won’t comment on their specific conversation. The president has been very clear that he is willing to work with Democrats and Republicans to pass measures to create jobs and get our economy moving. As independent economists have said, the American Jobs Act is the only plan that will create jobs and help the economy now.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Oct122011

Obama ‘Will Not Take No for an Answer’ on Jobs Bill

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama vowed to continue the fight for the American Jobs Act on Wednesday, declaring that “we will not take ‘no for an answer” on the morning after the Senate shelved his $447 billion jobs bill.

“A lot of folks in Washington and the media will look at last night’s vote and say, ‘Well, that’s it; let’s move on to the next fight. But I’ve got news for them: Not this time, not with so many Americans out of work, not with so many folks in your communities hurting,” Obama said at the American Latino Heritage Forum hosted by the White House.

A unified Republican caucus and a few Democrats prevented the legislation from getting the 60 votes needed to allow Senate consideration of the bill Tuesday night.

“Even though a majority of senators voted in favor of the American Jobs Act, a Republican minority got together as a group and blocked this jobs bill from passing the Senate,” Obama said in his first public comments since the bill’s defeat. “They said ‘no’ to more jobs for teachers, ‘no’ to more jobs for cops and firefighters, ‘no’ to more jobs for construction workers and veterans, ‘no’ to tax cuts for small-business owners and middle-class Americans.”

The president and congressional leaders have said they will proceed with a piecemeal approach to passing individual proposals in the president’s legislation.

“We will keep organizing and we will keep pressuring and we will keep voting until this Congress finally meets its responsibilities and actually does something to put people back to work and improve the economy,” Obama said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct112011

Obama to Meets with Jobs Council, Tout Jobs Bill

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(PITTSBURGH) -- President Obama will spend Tuesday again pitching his embattled $447 billion jobs bill and hearing recommendations from his jobs council on how to spur the economy and boost employment.

At a meeting Tuesday afternoon in Pittsburgh, the president’s Jobs and Competitiveness Council will present five “targeted proposals that can meaningfully accelerate job creation while beginning to rebuild America’s competitiveness.”

The recommendations include investing in infrastructure and energy, nurturing high-growth enterprises, launching a national investment initiative, improving regulatory review and developing talent to fill today’s jobs.

Critics claim these same steps were supposed to be funded by the $800 million-plus Recovery Act package, yet the nationwide unemployment rate has risen -- even after the stimulus plan was passed. The national unemployment rate now stands at 9.1 percent.

In addition to meeting with the council, the president will visit the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers training center in Pittsburgh and deliver remarks on jobs and the economy.

Later, Obama will shift his focus to fundraising, attending two campaign events in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday evening before returning back to Washington.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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