Liberal House Democrats on Tuesday announced a jobs proposal to the left of President Obama’s jobs package.
At a news conference, members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus said Obama’s proposal was a good start, but that their own agenda would do even more to put people to work.
The CPC platform focuses on six areas for job creation and calls for a national infrastructure bank, green technology investment, new public-sector spending for job creation and closing tax loopholes and subsidies for big American businesses as well as discouraging large bonuses for CEOs of big corporations.
The framework includes a $227 billion jobs bill sponsored by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) that aims to create 2.2 million jobs through funding for school improvement, police and firefighter services, local healthcare providers, the Early Head Start program and park-improvement services.
Schakowsky’s proposal would be funded by separate legislation, also sponsored by her, that raises taxes on millionaires and billionaires. Her legislation would also cut subsidies for major oil companies and close tax loopholes for corporations that hire employees outside the United States.
While the progressive Democrats’ proposals focus on new spending, Obama’s jobs package includes mostly tax cuts, including an extension and expansion of the payroll tax cut introduced this year.
CPC members said Tuesday that Obama’s jobs plan was “a little modest” but a good start.
Obama’s plan also extends unemployment insurance benefits for another year and creates a national infrastructure bank.
Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) stressed that it was important for Democrats to not cave in on pieces of either Obama’s jobs plan or the CPC’s job-creation agenda.
“Half a loaf is not enough in the United States of America,” Woolsey said. “The whole proposal is what we must have now.”
Asked how passing either Obama’s agenda or a more liberal job-creation package would be possible given House Republicans opposition, Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) said it was important to get on the road and publicize Democrats’ job-creation plans around the country.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) added that public support would be key to passing the CPC plan.
“We do expect that the American people are going to bring pressure to bear and we’re going to fight like we expect to win because that’s how we do business,” Ellison said.