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Sunday, 18 September 2011 12:39

Creating 2.2 Million Jobs Is Not a Dream. Schakowsky's Bill

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A BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT NEWS ALERT

WASHINGTON,DC (September 14, 2011) - Today Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and 40 members of the House Democratic Caucus introduced the Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act, H.R. 2914 - a cost-effective plan to put over 2 million people to work for two years.

The time has come for Congress to focus like a laser on the most pressing crisis facing our country - the jobs crisis. With extended unemployment benefits scheduled to expire at the end of this year, 13.9 million people remain out of work. The average worker who is unemployed has been searching for a job for more than nine months and recent reports reveal that private sector employers largely refuse to hire those currently jobless. An additional 8.4 million are working part time because they cannot find a full-time job. In June 2007, 63 percent of adults were employed, now the percentage is 58.2 percent. Despite reports of a Congress immobilized and unable to address the jobs crisis- Congress can and must do something today.

"It begins with this simple idea:  If we want to create jobs, then create jobs. The best way to grow the economy and reduce the deficit is to put Americans to work.  Every dollar in H.R. 2914 must be attached to an actual job," said Rep. Schakowsky. "The worst deficit this country faces, isn't the budget deficit.  It's the jobs deficit.  We need to get our people and our economy moving again."

If enacted, the legislation would create 2.2 million jobs that will meet critical needs to improve and strengthen communities:

  • The School Improvement Corps would create 400,000 construction and 250,000 maintenance jobs by funding positions created by public school districts to do needed school rehabilitation improvements.
  • The Park Improvement Corps would create 100,000 jobs for youth between the ages of 16 and 25 through new funding to the Department of the Interior and the USDA Forest Service's Public Lands Corps Act.  Young people would work on conservation projects on public lands include restoration and rehabilitation of natural, cultural, and historic resources.
  • The Student Jobs Corps would creates 250,000 more part-time, work study jobs for eligible college students through new funding for the Federal Work Study Program.
  • The Neighborhood Heroes Corps would hire 300,000 teachers, 40,000 new police officers, and 12,000 firefighters.
  • The Health Corps would hire at least 40,000 health care providers, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, and health care workers to expand access in underserved rural and urban areas.
  • The Child Care Corps would create 100,000 jobs in early childhood care and education through additional funding for Early Head Start.
  • The Community Corps would hire 750,000 individuals to do needed work in our communities, including housing rehab, weatherization, recycling, and rural conservation.

The legislation gives the unemployed priority for jobs, particularly those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits (the "99ers"), and veterans. The bill allocates a fair distribution of funding and jobs among states, with targeting based on high unemployment and need. The bill also ensures that jobs do not undercut the rights of other workers, lower wages, displace current workers or take business from small/local businesses.

The $227 billion cost of the bill ($113.5 billion over each of two years) can be fully paid for through separate legislation such as Rep. Schakowsky's Fairness in Taxation Act, which creates higher tax brackets for millionaires and billionaires, and eliminating subsidies for Big Oil and tax loop holes for corporations that send American jobs overseas.

The full, detailed summary of H.R. 2914 can be found at http://schakowsky.house.gov/jobs/