Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Blog
- Posted byon September 22, 2011 at 11:46 AM EDT
Since President Obama introduced the American Jobs Act last week, we have heard from many state and local elected officials on how the American Jobs Act would help create jobs in communities across America. Today, we take a moment to answer some of the most frequent questions we've received about the Act.
1. How will the American Jobs Act create jobs?
The American Jobs Act puts more people back to work and puts more money in the pockets of working Americans. It includes five key components:
Tax cuts to help America’s small businesses hire and grow– The American Jobs Act provides a tax cut for small businesses to help them hire and expand now, with a full payroll tax holiday for small businesses that grow their payroll by hiring new workers or increasing their wages.
Investments in jobs and infrastructure to rebuild and modernize America– The President’s plan puts more people back to work, including educators laid off due to state budget cuts, first responders and veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, and construction workers repairing or modernizing bridges, roads and more than 35,000 schools. It will repair and refurbish hundreds of thousands of foreclosed homes and businesses in communities across the country.
Pathways back to work for Americans looking for jobs– It helps out-of-work Americans by extending unemployment benefits to help them support their families while looking for work, while also reforming the system with work-experience programs that build real skills, connect to real jobs, and help the long-term unemployed. It bans employers from discriminating against the unemployed when hiring, and provides a new tax credit to employers hiring workers who have been out of a job for six months or longer. And it expands job opportunities for hundreds of thousands of low-income youth and adults.
Tax relief for every American worker and family– The American Jobs Act puts more money in the pockets of working and middle class Americans by cutting in half the payroll tax that comes out of the paycheck of every worker, saving typical families about $1,500 a year.
- Specific offsets and long-term deficit reduction to fully pay for itself– Lastly, this legislation is fully paid for. The legislation includes specific offsets to close corporate tax loopholes and asks the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share that more than cover the cost of the jobs measures. The legislation also increases the deficit reduction target for the Joint Committee and voids these specific offsets if the Committee reaches the higher target.
2. How can I learn more about what the American Jobs Act means for my state?
A state-by-state look at the American Jobs Act (with PDF fact sheets) is available at www.WhiteHouse.gov/JobsAct.
- Tax cuts to help America’s small businesses hire and grow– The American Jobs Act provides a tax cut for small businesses to help them hire and expand now, with a full payroll tax holiday for small businesses that grow their payroll by hiring new workers or increasing their wages.
- Posted byon September 22, 2011 at 10:50 AM EDT
The President recently proposed The American Jobs Act, calling on Congress to work in a bi-partisan effort to put people back to work right now. Investing in infrastructure across the country, including our roads, rail, airports, and maritime, will lead to immediate construction jobs and support future economic development, job creation, and long-term sustainability.
Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray reflects on transportation infrastructure that has supported economic growth in the Commonwealth:
As part of our economic development strategy, Governor Patrick and I have focused on investing in infrastructure in communities across the state. By combining state bonding and federal stimulus funds, we have invested in meaningful transportation infrastructure projects that have not only put people back to work, but have leveraged private investment that has resulted in regional economic activity.
Bridges in America were built to sustain for 50 years; today, the average age of bridges in America is 48 years old. Considering all of the structurally deficient bridges in Massachusetts, Governor Patrick and I partnered with the state legislature in 2008 to establish the Accelerated Bridge Program. The Accelerated Bridge Program is an historic 8 year, $3 billion plan implemented to invest in repairing the state’s structurally deficient bridges. To date, the program has reduced the number of structurally deficient bridges from 543 to 457, a decrease of almost 16%. Without the Accelerated Bridge Program, the number of structurally deficient bridges would have actually increased.
Our administration is focused on making strategic investments to rebuild and modernize our state’s infrastructure system, which is why I’m proud to support the President’s American Jobs Act. The President’s plan includes $50 billion in immediate investments for highways, transit, rail and aviation, which will jumpstart critical infrastructure projects and create hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country. Right here in Massachusetts, the President's plan would make $8.5 million available for these strategic investments, while supporting at least 11,100 local jobs.
The American Jobs Act would not only repair and improve infrastructure projects in all states, but it would put Americans back to work and set our country on a sustainable path for economic recovery. There are projects across the country just waiting to get started, and there are millions of unemployed construction workers looking for jobs. Congress should not delay. The time for obstruction and gridlock is over. Congress needs to put country ahead of politics, and pass the American Jobs Act.
Jewel James is the Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs
- Posted byon September 20, 2011 at 6:35 PM EDT
David Plouffe stressed the President’s commitment to fighting hard for passage of the American Jobs Act, and asked the mayors to continue to make their voices heard so their citizens will clearly understand the benefits of the proposal for their community. Plouffe also thanked the mayors for standing with the President in support of the proposal.
Mayors from Louisville to Los Angeles to Des Moines to Philadelphia shared their local stories on the need to invest in deteriorating roads and bridges while creating much needed construction jobs in their cities. The mayors also talked about the importance of modernizing schools so students can compete in the global economy. As several mayors noted, creating jobs is a bi-partisan issue that every city in America can support.
We encourage you to share your local stories on the need to invest in American jobs at email@example.com.
David Agnew is Deputy Director for Intergovernmental Affairs
- Posted byon September 15, 2011 at 11:20 AM EDT
The President’s visit to Puerto Rico in June 2011 is one of many demonstrations of the Administration’s strong commitment to the Island. The historic visit built on the strong foundation of the work of the President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico’s Status, which has developed a comprehensive approach to addressing critical issues of importance to the people of Puerto Rico. Moving forward, the Task Force is closely monitoring the implementation of the recommendations laid out in its report and is planning at least one more summit later this year and several others next year.
The Task Force’s report issued in March 2011 addressed both political status and economic development in Puerto Rico. The Task Force’s recommendations regarding status provided a meaningful way forward so that the residents of the Island can determine their own future. In his arrival address, the President reiterated this commitment, stating that “when the people of Puerto Rico make a clear decision, my administration will stand by you.”
- Posted byon September 14, 2011 at 11:46 AM EDT
Ed. Note: The event has now ended. Watch video and see photos from the event.
Today, President Obama will visit Raleigh, North Carolina to continue the conversation with Americans on why Congress needs to pass the American Jobs Act to put workers back to work. Watch the President live beginning at 12:55 p.m. EDT at WhiteHouse.gov/live.
In advance of the President’s visit, Governor Beverly Perdue and mayors across North Carolina explained the importance of passing the American Jobs Act. Governor Beverly Perdue said, "My top priority is creating jobs. I'm pleased that the President put forward the American Jobs Act. Congress should pass a plan quickly that encourages companies to hire, helps unemployed people get back to work, and puts more money in the pockets of working families."
- Posted byon September 12, 2011 at 10:30 AM EDT
On Friday, after traveling to the University of Richmond to discuss the American Jobs Act, President Obama hosted a conference call for over 1,100 state, local and tribal officials to explain how the plan would put people back to work in communities across the country.
The President thanked the officials on the call for their ongoing support, as well as their input and ideas that helped shape the American Jobs Act through listening sessions, calls and meetings over the past month. The President then laid out his policy ideas to help create more jobs immediately, including proposals to:
- Provide $50 billion in immediate investments for highways, transit, rail and aviation;
- Provide $10 billion to create a National Infrastructure Bank;
- Invest $35 billion to prevent layoffs of up to 280,000 teachers while also keeping tens of thousands of police officers and firefighters on the job;
- Modernize at least 35,000 public schools with $25 billion in infrastructure investments and $5 billion to improve community colleges; and
- Put construction workers back on the job with $15 billion to rehabilitate and refurbish hundreds of thousands of vacant homes in communities across America.
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