Unions urge last minute calls to Senate today on jobs

Possibly as early as late today, the U.S. Senate will vote on the Rebuild America Jobs Act (S.1769), which would immediately create jobs by putting $59 billion into the repair and rebuilding of roads, railways and airports. The measure would also establish a national infrastructure bank and place a tiny tax on millionaires and billionaires, to cover the cost of the bill.

The AFL-CIO is urging everyone to click here  to send a message to your senators to begin the task of rebuilding the economy by putting Americans back to work on infrastructure projects.

The Rebuild America Jobs Act is actually one part of President Obama’s original American Jobs Act, which he promoted earlier in the year at a special joint session of Congress. After Republicans blocked the bill, the administration began a process of trying to get Congress to pass individual components of it.

The first component, which Republicans blocked when it came up for a vote in the Senate, was the Teachers and First responders Back to Work Act, which would have created or protected 400,000 education jobs while preventing the layoffs of thousands of police officers and firefighters.

Republicans have vowed to vote thumbs down on the infrastructure component, also.

The GOP claims it has a better jobs plan. The Republican plan consists of four main parts: Tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations, rolling back of a host of federal regulations, many of which labor and its allies see as essential to the health and safety of the public, cancellation of Wall Street reform measures passed last year, and the repeal of the health care reform bill.

The GOP has refused to budge from its so-called “jobs plan,” despite polls that show a large majority, including Republicans, support the president’s American Jobs Act.

The latest CNN poll on the matter found that 63 percent of Republican voters back the teachers-responders provisions and 54 percent of Republicans back the infrastructure component the GOP plans to kill this week.

The same poll found that 58 percent of Republicans opposed the GOP plan to roll back environmental rules, while another poll found that six in 10 Republicans support the Wall Street reform law that the GOP “jobs” plan would repeal.

According to the CNN poll, 56 percent of Republicans support increasing taxes on people who earn more than $1 million a year, a key financing section of the president’s American Jobs Act.

Photo: At Chicago Jobs with Justice monthly demonstration, Sept. 2. PW. 



John Wojcik
John Wojcik

John Wojcik is Editor-in-Chief of People's World. He joined the staff as Labor Editor in May 2007 after working as a union meat cutter in northern New Jersey. There, he served as a shop steward, as a member of a UFCW contract negotiating committee, and as an activist in the union's campaign to win public support for Wal-Mart workers. In the 1970s and '80s he was a political action reporter for the Daily World, this newspaper's predecessor, and was active in electoral politics in Brooklyn, New York.