August 30, 2014

Obama Seeking Piecemeal Approval of ‘Jobs Bill’

  • The federal budget is an expression of our country's values. Where we choose to spend and at what levels, how and who we tax, and the borrowing we...

President Obama said Monday he would seek congressional approval of “bite-sized pieces” of his $447 billion plan to bolster the economy after a Senate vote last week blocked the package as a whole, along with a provision Democrats had added for a surtax on incomes of more than $1 million.

Most of the President’s “jobs bill” consists of tax cuts for businesses and individuals, including an extension and expansion of this year’s reduction in the Social Security payroll taxes paid by workers. The plan also calls for $175 billion in infrastructure spending, assistance to states and an extension of unemployment benefits.

Obama complained that Republicans were opposing proposals they had supported in the past. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said Democrats had “designed their own bill to fail” in an effort to score political points against the GOP.

Short-term deficit-financed measures to support a weak economy can be compatible with long-term deficit-reduction planning.  But it is critical for elected officials to make sure the country gets the most “bang for the buck” in trying to give the economy a boost.

While the House is in recess this week, the Senate is expected to return to Fiscal Year 2012 appropriations. The Senate is scheduled to consider an amendment which combines three separate appropriations bills: Agriculture; Transportation, HUD; and Commerce, Justice, Science.

The new fiscal year began this month but Congress has yet to enact any of the twelve appropriations bills for FY 2012.  Government agencies are currently being funded with a continuing resolution that expires on Nov. 18.