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.
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.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., said it was "no surprise" to her that "Republicans are willing to consider parts of bill that don't actually put people back to work.""If you want to create jobs, create jobs -- more jobs for teachers police, firefighters," she continued, critiquing the conservative viewpoint that government can't create jobs but only make it easier for business owners to hire people. "Nevermind about rich people being job creators....businesses need more customers to begin hiring."
Liberal House Democrats are pressuring President Obama to ignore his conservative critics and take "bold action" to tackle the lingering jobs crisis.Reps. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) – the co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus – want the president to champion sweeping investments in the nation's crumbling infrastructure as a way to create jobs and jolt the sluggish economy.
Keith Ellison and other House progressives want the so-called Congressional "Super Committee" that's supposed to find major deficit savings to also focus on job creation.The DFL Congressman asked the committee's co-chairs, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), to hold public hearings on how Congress can energize the job market rather than simply focusing on making cuts to social programs.
We need a bill (like the Progressive Caucus's People's Budget) that acknowledges that pulling money out of a weak economy only weakens it further and that accepting the right's economic philosophy is tantamount to accepting America's demise.
Co-Chair Keith Ellison talks about the impact of the debt-limit agreement signed into law by President Barack Obama on the U.S. economy and need for Congress to focus on job-creation legislation. Ellison speaks with Carol Massar on Bloomberg Television's "Taking Stock."