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The American Jobs Act

2011 September 9

By EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson

Last night President Obama asked Congress to join him in rebuilding the economy the American way — by supporting middle class families, creating good-paying jobs for American workers, and ensuring that the same set of rules apply to everyone from Main Street to Wall Street. In his address before a joint session of Congress, the President announced that he will send to the floor for immediate action the American Jobs Act, a collection of common sense, bipartisan ideas to create new jobs now and help the families and small businesses still fighting their way out of the greatest economic downturn in generations.

The first steps are to help small businesses hire new workers and to strengthen family budgets. The president proposed a range of tax cuts that will help small businesses — America’s top job creators — expand, creating incentives for them to hire new employees or increase wages. At the same time, he made clear the importance of extending payroll tax cuts for American workers, who can use the extra money in their paychecks to support their families and strengthen our economy.

Next, the Jobs Act will take proactive steps to put teachers, first-responders, construction workers and veterans into jobs rebuilding our infrastructure and shoring up the foundations of our economy. These will help fill positions that are critical to our communities and our economic future. Workers will take on need- and impact-based projects repairing and constructing roads and bridges and refurbishing schools. And we will make sure the classrooms where tomorrow’s innovators and entrepreneurs are learning have the teachers they need — including up to 280,000 teachers laid off by state budget cuts.

President Barack Obama delivers an address on jobs and the economy, Chuck Kennedy, 9/8/11

President Barack Obama delivers an address on jobs and the economy. Credit: Chuck Kennedy, 9/8/11

President Obama has also proposed extending help to the long-term unemployed who have borne the brunt of our nation’s economic challenges. Not only will the American Jobs Act provide the support for people looking for work, but it will also make changes that better connect job-seekers with job openings.

Finally, the American Jobs Act includes provisions to ensure that this plan is paid for. It won’t add a dime to the deficit. By closing corporate tax loopholes and asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share, we can strengthen the core components of our economy, the small businesses and middle class families that are essential to our nation’s success.

While outlining his jobs plan, the president also made clear that our economic success depends safeguarding American families, protecting their health and quality of life. “But what we can’t do — what I will not do — is let this economic crisis be used as an excuse to wipe out the basic protections that Americans have counted on for decades. I reject the idea that we need to ask people to choose between their jobs and their safety. I reject the argument that says for the economy to grow, we have to roll back protections that ban hidden fees by credit card companies, or rules that keep our kids from being exposed to mercury,” said the president. “We shouldn’t be in a race to the bottom, where we try to offer the cheapest labor and the worst pollution standards. We should be in a race to the top.”

Our nation has overcome the worst economic downturn in generations and put millions of Americans to work — but our challenges were not created overnight, and our work is not finished. By taking swift action on the proposals in the American Jobs Act, we can bolster the economic security of middle class families and give businesses large and small what they need to start investing in new jobs. It’s important that we act now, and take these steps to keep our recovery moving.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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4 Responses leave one →
  1. Hector Retis permalink
    September 9, 2011

    I want to believe in my President, I know the importance to create a better place for the future generations, but Mr. President in order to talk about cheapest labor and worst pollution what actions your government take to avoid the import of products that doesn’t have an EPA fee, Medicare and Social Security adds to the salary, Code and regulations that doesn’t apply in other countries and taxes add to the production cost.
    I am a believer of control and a believer of Environmental Protection as well a Believer of our System, why your government in order to make the USA industry competitive inside our country (just to start) impose fees and taxes to any product that come to the USA so in that way our industry can be more efficient producing in the same economy conditions, because we can not discuss that our citizens are well protect by our constitution.
    Also please in relation to the unemployment situation all the time your statics are in relation to the people that receive or apply for unemployment benefits, but never mention the other side of the story, that each day are more people that is deny the insurance benefits, an is not only the 9.5% the labor Dpt. says, this percent goes to up 17% without consider independents, and new coming workers by age, education or immigration….why lie to the country, and to the system, let’s see my case I am unemployed for the last 20 months and since the ned of July 2011 the Labor Dpt. (DETR) in Nevada told me that I am not qualify for insurance benefits because only covers (Include state and federal insurance) 20 months, I am close to 50 years old and I am apllying to any job I can but still not finding nothing, what help citizens like me can get if the age is our worst enemy, and no insurance benefits are considered because only covers 20 months, so please don’t forget this sector of the citzens when your governmentprepare the statics of unemployment.
    Health for our families is another issue that the only way to create cheaper prizes for the anual premiuns is to let create new insurance companies in our country that let management this sector of the economy, open the market to be more competitive and efficient in the service to the regular citizen, we need to open our classical point of view of what health service is and create new responses to the real existing situation in our country, you need to end the monopolies in health.

  2. Tom Kopp permalink
    September 9, 2011

    Wil this new American Jobs Act include tedh members of Congress? Will they then begin paying into Social Security, paying their own health insurance, etc.? And not voting themselves pay increases without the general public having anything to say about it?

  3. John Q Public permalink
    September 9, 2011

    Can someone tell me what is new here? What is a business person to do with these short term point fixes, does this administration not understand business plan 3, 5, 10 years out. If you change these things every 6 months / 1 year no business person will bet the farm on some temp idea. What is the point?

  4. Frank Monachello permalink
    September 11, 2011

    Lisa, I encourage all cabinet members to ask the White House to get in the habit of posting major legislative proposals, such as these, on an easy to remember website url that every administration official, including the President himself, can be reminded to quote whenever he or she is interviewed in any media (TV, radio, or print). Americans are being poorly served, for whatever reason, at the moment, by traditional mainstream media and, obviously, the GOP either intentionally or inadvertantly distorting the details of Administration initiatives.

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