Time for big, bold federal jobs program

JobsRallyMar19 2010 018

WASHINGTON - Jobs for America NOW is organizing meetings with lawmakers while they are home for the Easter recess to urge them to pass Rep. George Miller's $75 billion jobs bill that would create or save as many as one million jobs when they return to the capital.
The actions come on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the enactment of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration (WPA) that created millions of jobs during the Great Depression.

"We've got a dozen groups planning events on or around April 8, the 75th anniversary of WPA," said Germonique R. Ulmer, a spokesperson for Jobs for America NOW. "The WPA anniversary is time to speak out on the need to take big and bold action to get people back to work."

She added that Jobs for America NOW, a coalition of 60 organizations, is also planning meetings with many lawmakers during the recess to demand that they support Miller's bill that would prevent the layoff of tens of thousands of public employees by fiscally strapped state and local governments. "Many grassroots groups are setting up meetings with members of Congress while they are home during the recess. It includes events in Nevada, Maine, North Carolina, and Illinois. These meetings are an opportunity to put a human face on the unemployment crisis," she said. "It should leave these lawmakers with a sense that they have to take action when they get back to Washington." She described the Miller bill as a "left over piece of legislation" that should be enacted quickly.

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn) announced he is spearheading a nationwide effort during the recess to muster the 216 votes to push the Miller jobs bill through. Ellison said passage of the measure should be a "slam-dunk" if he succeeds in lining up the lawmakers.

Ellison and Miller met with members of the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties and some of the 60 grassroots organizations affiliated with Jobs for America NOW to win endorsements of the bill.

Like every other measure to assist the unemployed and the uninsured, the Miller bill faces fanatical Republican opposition especially in the Senate. Foes of the measure spout clichés about the federal deficit. But Ellison retorts, that "deficit spending in a recession is wise economic policy" to get the economy moving until private sector spending and investment starts generating jobs and tax revenues
Miller, chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, said local communities "are having to choose between raising taxes to sustain essential services or firing more workers. We should not ask students to forgo a year of education or tell families that their safety will be compromised because local governments have to lay off teachers and police officers. This bill will quickly create jobs that we can count and jobs we can count on."

Mayor Elizabeth Kautz of Burnsville, Minnesota, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors said, "Mayors are pleased to partner with Chairman Miller to push this important legislation. We deal face to face with unemployed citizens....all they want is good dependable jobs so they can support their families."

Unmoved by this humanitarian crisis, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla) once again blocked an extension of unemployment insurance, mimicking his Republican colleague Jim Bunning of Kentucky who blocked an extension of jobless benefits four weeks ago with the tacit backing of the Republican leadership on Capitol Hill.

Photo: Ben Sears


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  • Great article. The bill also includes over 23 billion for jobs and support for deducation on all levels that has already been approved but will be strenghtened in this more omnibus bill. So it 100 billion for a million jobs all for Main St! And there is a ripple effect of more jobs out in the private sector as well as showing the way of more government for the people!

    Posted by Rosalio Munoz, 04/01/2010 8:27am (6 years ago)

  • A socialized healthcare program would create 10 million new jobs. Barack Obama with his wars has not left us with much of a peace dividend to create jobs doing anything.

    Is war killing jobs just like it kills healthcare?

    Jobs for America NOW is brought to us by the same outfits that pushed Obama's healthcare down our throats. Maybe they will be more successful in winning jobs than what they were with healthcare reform.

    This article not only misses the negative impact of war in destroying jobs it also misses mentioning enforcement of affirmative action.

    Posted by kickitupanotch, 03/31/2010 11:45pm (6 years ago)

  • It's high time to pressure mayoral-ties across the country,to demand that county and regional governments unify with people movements to pressure,in turn Congress,to create this massive jobs program,movements of organizations and individuals such as Jobs for America NOW.
    We are sure that the coming 29th National Convention will address jobs and training for jobs for millions of youth,prime aged women and men,especially people of color,under-employed and unemployed,to mobilize them for political action and voting certainly for the coming Congressional elections.
    With 60% of the electorate active in the last election,we should push realistically for 75% of the electorate active in the coming(or whatever the numbers show we need to further democratize Congress)elections to continue needed progress from the obstructionists,neocons and racist revanchist,almost all opposed to massive,clean,green job creation.
    It is not rhetorical to say the the survival of the planet depends on this innovative,massive sun,water and geothermal re-setting of resource and natural resource generation. Thanks for the article,brother Tim Wheeler.

    Posted by E.E.W. Clay, 03/30/2010 9:56pm (6 years ago)

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