Jobs Plan Unveiled by House Progressive Caucus

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Via Huffington Post:

The Congressional Progressive Caucus released a plan on Tuesday that would create jobs, invest in clean energy and rebuild American infrastructure — and has little to no chance of passage. Still, the jobs package, a farther-left alternative to President Barack Obama’s jobs plan, could provide a negotiating point as the president’s bill moves through Congress in the coming weeks.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), co-chairman of the caucus, acknowledged that Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, are unlikely to support the caucus’s proposal, but called on the American people to push for jobs legislation.

“We expect [Republicans] to be opposed,” Ellison said at a press conference. “But we’ve got faith in the American people to rise up and demand that Congress pass a jobs bill. So we’re fundamentally optimistic, but we’re also realistic. … We do expect the American people are going to bring pressure to bear.”

Congressional Progressive Caucus members said it would be wrong to “cut the baby in half” and pass only parts of the Obama jobs plan, even though they do not support every aspect of the bill.

“[Obama] must insist that we have nothing less than what he presented, along with the additions we’re talking about here,” Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) said. “This is an emergency, we must do it, and we cannot cut this baby in half. … The whole proposal is what we must have.”

At issue for these House members is the proposed payroll tax cut for employers, which could hurt the revenue stream for Social Security. But they were careful to say that they support the vast majority of the president’s bill, despite some concerns about how it will affect key entitlement programs.

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