State and Local Officials Respond to the President’s Call for an American Jobs Act
Following the President’s speech where he called on Congress to pass the American Jobs Act, bi-partisan governors, mayors, and state legislators have spoken out and echoed the President’s call to put more people back to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans.
Mesa, Arizona Mayor Scott Smith:
It is encouraging to hear the President's proposal include business-friendly concepts such as expanded tax cuts and smart infrastructure investment. I am also encouraged that job creation and deficit reduction are mutual goals.
Los Angeles, California Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa:
President Obama delivered a strong and clear message to Congress, the silly season in Washington is over. After spending the better part of the year trading jabs, Congress must now turn its attention to creating jobs. The President's plan is practical enough to pass Congress with the inclusion of bipartisan policy proposals. It is also bold enough to have the impact our country needs to build our way out of this historic economic challenge.
San Francisco, California Mayor Ed Lee:
President Obama’s speech tonight must be a wakeup call to leaders from Washington to Sacramento to San Francisco that it’s time to put politics aside and unite around our nation’s number one priority – creating jobs. The President’s call for aid to cities and states and a renewed commitment to infrastructure investments will directly boost our efforts to create jobs here in San Francisco and keep our City’s economy moving on the right track.
Santa Clara County, California Supervisor Dave Cortese:
We need jobs here and we need them now. The President’s plan braids together the best bi-partisan ideas in the country at a time we sorely need them in the high-tech capital of the world, Silicon Valley. It is a win-win-win: job creation; infrastructure revitalization; and economic recovery.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper:
The President described an integrated plan that involves tax credits and tax cuts to help encourage businesses to hire workers. He acknowledged the need to pay for these efforts so the federal deficit is not made worse in the long-run. Helping to spur investment with an infrastructure bank also strikes us as a smart idea that deserves serious consideration by Congress. What matters more than the details of this package is the important opportunity Congress and the President have to kick election politics aside and demonstrate to Coloradans and to the country that government in Washington, D.C., is not broken and that Congress can get things done to help the economy. President Obama is on the right track. We hope everyone can now put aside the partisan division we saw during the debt ceiling debate this summer and work together toward economic recovery.
Denver, Colorado Mayor Michael Hancock:
The American people have spoken. What we have heard day in and day out is that in order to improve the economic health of our city, of our state and of our country is that we have to get people back to work. This is an issue where we have to come together and tackle it head on because we can no longer live in an environment where uncertainty continues to drag us down. The President's American Job's Act is right on. It’s based on bi-partisan ideas, does not require any borrowing, and will start to grow the economy right away. I strongly urge Congress to act quickly because it's time that we put the political posturing aside and do what's needed to get this country moving forward again.
Colorado State Representative Dan Pabon:
I’m encouraged that President Obama has focused his plan on items that can quickly affect our families and small businesses. Working families will benefit from additional tax relief, and similar breaks for small businesses will help spur job creation. Here in Denver, we know that infrastructure investments have tremendous potential to put people to work today while delivering economic benefits for years to come. It is fitting that Kirk Bergstrom with Denver Transit Partners sat with the First Lady as an example of this potential.
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy:
The President’s proposals will be a direct benefit to Connecticut residents and businesses. For example, by investing in infrastructure his proposal would put people to work; by funding education he will avoid layoffs of teachers and increased class sizes; and by extending unemployment insurance he will keep out of poverty the approximately 78,000 Connecticut workers who will have exhausted their unemployment benefits by the end of this year.
Hartford, Connecticut Mayor Pedro Segarra:
I am pleased that President Obama presented a balanced and well thought-out plan of action. It provides tax cuts to small businesses; creates a pathway back to work for the unemployed; establishes tax relief to help families stay in their homes; and focuses on essential and necessary infrastructure improvements.
Delaware Governor Jack Markell:
The President made clear that creating jobs and keeping people working remains job one. He challenged the Congress tonight to put aside any personal agendas and move forward to help companies hire, help small businesses grow, create opportunities for people out of work to get back to work and put more money in the pockets of working families. There are responsible, targeted and economically sound proposals here to get people to work.
Orlando, Florida Mayor Buddy Dyer:
The plan outlined by President Obama includes a broad range of accomplish-able actions that can jump start our economy and create jobs immediately. These are also measures that have had bipartisan support in the past and I encourage our Congressional leaders to work together with a shared sense of urgency to put this plan into action and help America's families.
Atlanta, Georgia Mayor Kasim Reed:
I am pleased that President Obama stepped forward tonight to lay out a plan to the American people which will revitalize our national economy and create new jobs for our workforce. As Americans, we have become weary of the political back-and-forth which has become common place over the past three years. The President displayed true leadership by presenting a strong job-creation package that should garner bipartisan support and restore confidence in our nation’s ability to create well-paying jobs and stabilize our recovery.
Augusta, Georgia Mayor Deke Copenhaver:
The President’s American Jobs Act offers common ground that stands to benefit all Americans and I would encourage Congress to set aside party differences and take bipartisan action to move our nation forward.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn:
Tonight, the President laid out a plan that will put Americans back to work now. We in Illinois applaud President Obama’s vision for American innovation, infrastructure, fiscal responsibility and bipartisanship. As our country recovers from the worst recession in decades, we must invest in our small businesses and the sectors that are creating the jobs of today and tomorrow. I support the President’s plan, and I stand with him in calling on Congress to put aside partisan politics and do their part for America’s working families.
New Orleans, Louisiana Mayor Mitch Landrieu:
The jobs plan announced by President Obama this evening will help kick-start our economy and put more people back to work. In New Orleans, we’re rebuilding our community and growing new jobs by investing in innovation, education, and infrastructure. I applaud the President for continuing to commit to grow jobs by investing in infrastructure.
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley:
The President tonight hammered home a message that we should all be able to agree on: to create jobs and make this modern economy ours, we must make modern investments that put people back to work and strengthen our economy. I join the President in urging Congress to put aside partisan politics and pass these commonsense job proposals right now, without delay. If we are going to win this fight for our economic future, we must act and we must act now.
Baltimore, Maryland Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake:
President Obama has proposed a detailed plan to strengthen our nation’s economy. Many of the components of this plan, when enacted, would have an immediate positive impact on Baltimore and will help put Baltimoreans back to work. I am urging the citizens of Baltimore to support the President’s plan. I will do everything in my power to urge the House of Representatives to move the American Jobs Act forward and get our country on a stable path to economic recovery.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick:
President Obama put a specific, practical plan on the table to help American workers and businesses right now, and to invest in a better future. If Congress wants to help American workers and businesses, it will pass this plan. Investing in education, innovation and infrastructure has made all the difference here in Massachusetts where we are growing jobs faster than most other states and leading the nation in economic recovery. I share the President's belief that government ought to be about helping people help themselves. The America Jobs Bill gives us the tools we need to do just that.
Boston, Massachusetts Mayor Thomas Menino:
President Obama announced a common sense approach to getting this country back to work. From investing in our infrastructure to bolstering our schools, the President has focused on what's important for America - putting people back to work. His proposal mirrors what we have been trying to do on the local level by helping small businesses and entrepreneurs start and grow, stimulating construction projects and assisting people with jobs training as they transition to new careers. The President’s plan goes a step further and gives people the resources to actually put these plans into action. Now we need Congress to act, we need business to invest and we need banks to provide capital.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder:
The president laid out a plan calling for many changes at the federal level that we have already made here in Michigan. The president proposed cutting payroll taxes for small businesses in half to encourage job growth; in Michigan, we already ended the double tax on small businesses. The president proposed ending loopholes for corporations. In Michigan, we already did that by switching to a flat, 6 percent corporate income tax that is simple, fair and efficient. These are changes that will help create an environment where jobs can grow, and they should be considered by Congress.
Detroit, Michigan Mayor David Bing:
President Obama laid out the right plan to put create jobs, support businesses and jumpstart our economy. The American Jobs Act will help Detroit businesses invest in our city and our people. I urge Congress to move swiftly to pass this legislation to put our unemployed residents back to work and support the small businesses that will lead our economic recovery.
Flint, Michigan Mayor Dayne Walling:
The President’s focus on jobs is the right one for Flint as well as the rest of the country. His American Jobs Act is a common sense approach that ensures that there are more jobs now as well as in the future. Putting teachers, public safety officers, and returning veterans back to work will have a tremendously positive impact on Flint.
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton:
The President's vision should inspire Americans and galvanize Congress. As he stated so eloquently, the time to act is NOW. His American Jobs Act will put thousands of Minnesotans back to work; they need Congress to act NOW. As we learn more in the days ahead about the details of the President's plan, I am confident we will find even more initiatives that will help Minnesota's citizens, businesses, and economy. I look forward to rolling up my sleeves to support the President's proposals and to put them to work for Minnesota.
St. Louis, Missouri Mayor Francis Slay:
There are the words that every mayor in America wants to hear from the federal government: education, innovation, and infrastructure. President Obama used these words tonight to explain how our country is going to replace jobs, create opportunities, and spur economic growth…I will be on my telephone with some of our biggest and smallest companies telling them that I think the tools President Obama has promised will let them start hiring again, that government will not be in their way.
Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker:
The President's jobs plan reflects the urgency of our nation's economic crisis, embraces the spirit of bipartisanship, and presents a practical way forward that will help put this nation back to work. I join with other mayors in calling upon congress to act boldly and quickly in adopting the President's proposed measures.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo:
President Obama laid out a real plan to jumpstart the economy and put Americans back to work. The President realizes that it is essential that creating jobs be the top priority at all levels of government. As the President said, politics cannot come before the urgent need to put Americans back to work. This is a plan that can and should be supported by officials of all political stripes and we need to see the Congress move this nation forward.
New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver:
The President laid out a strategy to rebuild our economy and put people back to work. In New York - like the rest of the country - we are still struggling, despite closing a $10 billion budget gap this year. That is why I am encouraged by the President’s recognition of the problems facing the states, which must deliver services and meet the basic needs of their people. The President’s plan is based on fairness and balance, asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more - something I have long advocated - so that we can create jobs and jumpstart economic growth. There is a time for politics and there is a time for governing. I hope Congress will come together to put our country first and get Americans back to work.
Cincinnati, Ohio Mayor Mark Mallory:
The President was right on point tonight. He laid out a plan that will put people to work as soon as it is passed. The President used the Brent Spence as a perfect example of how an investment in an infrastructure project could put thousands of Americans work and fix a bridge that is vital to our economy. The American people are looking for action. And the President delivered a plan of action tonight that will help our economy from the day it passes.
Columbus, Ohio Mayor Michael Coleman:
Earlier this evening, President Obama cut through the partisan clutter and put forth a common-sense plan that includes ideas from Republicans and Democrats to put Americans back to work. While, as the President said, this proposal is not a silver bullet, it would bring hope and opportunity to individuals who have been unable to find work and businesses who have been unable to hire workers. This plan will create new jobs, ease the tax burden on families and businesses, and it won’t increase the deficit. Congress must act with the urgency of now. America needs jobs.
Ohio State House Democratic Leader Armond Budish:
I urge the Leadership of the House and Senate to work with the President to accomplish these critical steps immediately, in order to put Americans back to work. The American Jobs Act is based on ideas from both sides of the aisle, and should have an immediate impact on job creation and economic growth. At the same time, it puts more money back in the pockets of the already struggling middle class and cuts taxes for small businesses. I encourage Congress to lead by example and to put partisan politics aside for the good of the American people.
Allentown, Pennsylvania Mayor Ed Pawlowski:
We need solid initiatives to get people back to work and the program which the President outlined is critical in helping cities like Allentown quickly recover from the negative impacts of these difficult economic times. I applaud the President’s plan and ask our local congressional leaders to pass the American Jobs Act immediately to help our allying communities and put our country back on a pathway of growth and prosperity.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Michael Nutter:
President Obama laid out a comprehensive set of ideas, the American Jobs Act, which is exactly what that this country, and certainly Philadelphia, needs to get our economy going, to get the unemployed back into the workforce, to invest in teachers, police officers and firefighters, to fix roads, bridges and our schools, and to help with our veterans who are now serving the country in uniform and will be looking for jobs when they return. I am hopeful that with Congress now back in session they will immediately take up the American Jobs Act and pass this legislation. We need it right now.
Charleston, South Carolina Mayor Joseph Riley:
President Obama is to be commended for laying out an aggressive, prudent and fiscally responsible plan to help get more Americans back to work and help accelerate our economic recovery. I especially endorse the infrastructure investments outlined by the President. These projects not only provide important improvements in our communities, but they get unemployed citizens back to work allowing them to provide for their families. We desperately need it. I hope that Congress will quickly embrace President Obama’s plan and enact it as soon as possible so that our economy can begin to start growing more robustly once again.
San Antonio, Texas Mayor Julián Castro:
President Obama presented a bold, yet sensible plan tonight to get America working again. It is my hope that Congress will put this job creation initiative on the front burner and make the kind of education, public safety and infrastructure investments that already have been proven to work in cities and suburbs across America. During this economic downturn, San Antonio has been considered one of the most recession-resistant cities in the nation, and a major reason why is the significant federal investment at military bases like Fort Sam Houston.
Hampton, Virginia Mayor Molly Ward:
President Obama has proposed a bipartisan approach to address our unacceptably high rate of unemployment -- and underemployment -- and improve the economic security of American families. It is my hope that Congress will work with the President to achieve our nation's shared goal of economic recovery.
Washington Governor Christine Gregoire:
Combining ideas supported by both parties, the President has put forward a plan to put more people to work including teachers, veterans, first responders and construction workers, while putting more money in the pockets of working Americans, ensuring a thriving economy. And it won’t add a dime to the federal deficit.
Seattle, Washington Mayor Mike McGinn:
From transportation grants to housing loans, Community Development Block Grants to energy efficiency programs, President Obama has helped Seattle create jobs. We appreciate that he is out there fighting for us.
Bi-partisan Joint Statement by Leadership of the U.S. Conference of Mayors:
President Obama offered to Congress a set of proven, actionable solutions through The American Jobs Act, to finally end our country’s economic paralysis, help the unemployed find jobs again and put our people back to work. These proposals represent a true Main Street plan – they address the needs of cities, which is where more than 80% of the U.S. population lives, and they will get our economy back on track. We commend President Obama for introducing the American Jobs Act and we urge Congress to take action immediately.
Cecilia Muñoz is Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs
Find out more about the American Jobs Act