Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Blog

  • Mayor of Cincinnati: Citizens Are "Very Excited" about American Jobs Act

    Watch the video of Cincinnati Mayor Mallory speaking on the American Jobs Act.

    President Obama is heading to Cincinnati, Ohio today to talk about the American Jobs Act -- a program the mayor of that city says will benefit Cincinnati. Mayor Mark Mallory said that he -- and the citizens of his city -- are "very excited" about the possibility of the Jobs Act because the President's plan will enable Cincinnati to keep firefighters and police officers on the job.p>

    Mallory specifically refers to the provisions in the Act that provide funds for infrastructure, and says Cincinnati's "very large, very old"  Brent Spence Bridge needs to be replaced.

     See how other mayors say the American Jobs Act will impact their cities:

    Mayor Dayne Walling of Flint, Michigan
    Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, California
    Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore, Maryland
    Mayor Michael Hancock of Denver, Colorado
    Mayor Greg Fischer of Louisville, Kentucky
    Mayor Sly James of Kansas City
    Mayor Phil Gordon of Phoenix, Arizona



  • Your Local Questions about the American Jobs Act Answered

    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

  • Modernizing Massachusetts' Infrastructure

    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

  • Mayors Discuss the American Jobs Act with White House Officials

    On Tuesday, over 40 bi-partisan mayors  from across the country joined National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling and Senior Advisor David Plouffe for a discussion on the economy and the local impact of the American Jobs Act.

    Gene Sperling thanked the mayors for their significant input of ideas during the design of the American Jobs Act and pointed out that many of the proposals were included in the U.S. Conference of Mayors jobs plan.  Sperling then highlighted the many different components of the Act that would help cities directly including:

    • $30 billion to prevent up to 280,000 teacher layoffs
    • $5 billion to support the hiring and retention of public safety and first responder personnel to keep communities safe from crime and maintain critical emergency response capabilities
    • $30 billion to modernize at least 35,000 public schools, supporting new science labs, Internet-ready classrooms and renovations at schools in rural and urban areas across the country, with 40 percent of the funds directed toward the 100 largest high-need public school districts - along with another $5 billion to modernize community colleges
    • $50 billion in immediate investments in infrastructure - along with a bipartisan National Infrastructure Bank - to modernize our roads, rail, airports and waterways while putting hundreds of thousands of workers back on the job
    • $15 billion for a New “Project Rebuild”, which will put people to work rehabilitating homes, businesses and communities, leveraging private capital and scaling land banks and other public-private collaborations
    • $5 billion to expand job opportunities for low-income youth and adults through a fund for successful approaches for subsidized employment, innovative training programs and summer/year-round jobs for youth

    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

    David Agnew is Deputy Director for Intergovernmental Affairs


  • Moving Forward: The Continuing Work of the President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico’s Status

    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.”

  • Watch Live: President Obama on the American Jobs Act in North Carolina

    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

    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."