This latest version is a $150 billion package of tax-break extensions and aid for the unemployed.
58 Democrats were joined by 8 Republicans (I know, right!) to move the bill forward and closer to the end of another up and down back and forth adventure that one could only call the Washington Swing.
The proposal includes a mixture adjustments in policy.
There was an announcement way back on February 11th that the Senate had hashed out the ruff draft of a bi-partisan bill to help Americans start to move towards job recovery, a necessary first step to putting the economic train back on track. It is now March 10th. We haven't moved much further down the road.
The House bill looked something like this:
Infrastructure spending for roads, bridges, modernized public buildings, and clean water. Supposedly targeted areas that could spur job growth quickly, but at a cost of $48.3 billion.
Additional money, $79 billion to extend unemployment insurance payments and COBRA health benefits for the millions of jobless Americans. Many states are running out of funds as a significant amount of Americans still remain among the unemployed. This would prop up the states unemployment funding.
Aid for local governments totaling $26.7 billion. With the loss of local tax dollars, states and cities are facing severe budget crunches. The aid package would reduce job losses for teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other public employees.
The plan also included many infrastructure plans in an effort to spur job creation quickly while expanding needed improvements and growth throughout the country.
The House Jobs bill passed back on December 16th as the "Jobs for Main Street" bill.
The Senate said through Bi-partisan cooperation with the party of "NO" the bill would be modified just a bit.
The Senate bill now includes one-year extensions of unemployment insurance and COBRA health insurance benefits. The bill also includes money to help states pay for Medicaid and private pension funds that have taken a big hit during the recession.
The bill includes a preventative "fix" to stop a cut in payments to medical professionals who serve Medicare patients. In addition it has a $30 billion package to extend the expiring tax breaks.
The package carries with it over $1 billion in emergency agricultural aid that has been sought by Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.).
The opponents of the bill have been successful in trimming out sections and tossing them to the side. Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) led a move to defeat one of the amendments to the package that would have spent more than $2 billion to help states pay for summer jobs and other programs for the disadvantaged and poor.
Start working for your money folks. It has been a month and the progress is minimal. Start kicking them in the teeth. Call them out, and put it on TV. Make it a public flogging. Show the truth of the blockade and stalls and 180 reversals on bills that have been presented by the Republican party in the past but are now being denied by them. It will make the job of the Democrats that much more difficult, but that is why you folks in Congress and the Senate, Republicans and Democrats alike keep giving yourselves raises isn't it?
We aren't looking for allot here folks.
Just get us back to work.
Get us back on track.
Help us to help you.
The $52 Billion HIRE jobs bill included disaster assistance to farmers.
The bill also includes a one year extension of the $1 per gallon bio-diesel subsidy. Several other energy tax provisions would receive extensions as well, including credits for home efficiency and alternative fuel vehicles, bio-diesel, renewable diesel and other alternative fuels.
Senator Reid said back on February 10th that the emerging Senate plan "will create jobs immediately." At the same time, he said the Senate bill would cut out some of the elements negotiated and announced earlier by Sens. Baucus and Grassley.
Reid's move allowed him to throw down an election-year challenge to Republicans at a time when the job market is one of the leading voter concerns.
"Republicans are going to have to make a choice," he said, "either to support his plan or explain why they didn't."
That is what we need to see more of.
Call them out.
Step up or step out of the way.
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