Responding to growing demands to address the unemployment crisis, Congressional Democrats have indicated legislation for a new jobs bill is currently under consideration, possibly by years end.
Over the weekend a jobs conference was held in New York City and on Tuesday, civil rights and labor leaders in Washington called for urgent measures to address the crisis. That evening, AFL-CIO leader Richard Trumka spoke before a House caucus. Politico.com writes “Many rank-and-file Democrats are eager for action, as evidenced by the emotions Monday night, when AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and liberal economist and writer Robert Kuttner appeared before the caucus.”
Wednesday the Democratic Steering and Policy committee is expected to discuss job creation options. House Speaker Pelosi indicated she hopes to see legislation by the end of the year.
Trumka called for using left over TARP money from last year’s bank bailout. Because of public anger at the bank bailout however, Democrats are reluctant to call possible jobs legislation a “second stimulus.” AP writes “I wouldn’t characterize it as a second stimulus,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday.”I don’t want to be as broad as that, I want it to be very targeted on jobs.”
Press reports indicate the legislation will have several dimensions, including extension of unemployment benefits, roads and highway construction and assistance to small business.
The White House is holding a jobs summit in December. In this regard, NAACP leader Benjamin Jealous criticized a recent New York Times article suggesting the civil rights group was pressuring the White House. Jealous objected “the president gets it.” The problem, he said, lies with some in Congress.