Obama Calls For Congress To Quickly Pass Jobs Bill

Last night, President Obama addressed Congress and urged them to pass the American Jobs Act immediately. Here are some of the highlighted proposals:

  • Expanding payroll tax cuts worth $240 billion
  • $140 billion for repairing roads and bridges, and modernizing schools
  • A tax holiday for small businesses hiring new employees
  • Extending unemployment benefits worth $49 billion
  • $4,000 tax credit for companies that hire workers who have spent more than 6 months looking for a job

With 9.1% unemployment, it’s clear that something that needs to be done. The question is whether these, or any ideas, will get through or if the process will be bogged down in a repeat of the debt ceiling debate zero-sum game brinkmanship.

“The proposals the president outlined tonight merit consideration,” Speaker John A. Boehner said in a statement. “We hope he gives serious consideration to our ideas as well.”

The stock market seemed to vote thumbs down on the jobs act’s prospects, with the S&P 500 declining sharply by Friday midday by 2.5%.

Full text of Obama’s speech [Chicago Tribune]
Fact Sheet: The American Jobs Act [WhiteHouse.gov]