Senate Democrats

The Senate Jobs Bill Is Filled With Republican Ideas And Should Enjoy Bipartisan Support

The Senate jobs bill is a simplified bill with four key provisions focused on job creation. Each provision has enjoyed broad support from Republicans in the past. Despite this strong bipartisan support for each idea in this bill, there are reports that Republicans are holding backroom strategy sessions with lobbyists to figure out how to block its passage. With America’s economy showing signs of recovery, this bill will encourage businesses to hire more workers and strengthen the economy. There is no excuse for Republicans who claim to be concerned with bipartisanship, excessive spending and creating jobs to vote against a fully-paid for, bipartisan job creation bill.

REPUBLICANS HAVE SUPPORTED THE PAYROLL TAX EXEMPTION

Payroll Tax Exemption Has Bipartisan Support. The Schumer-Hatch jobs payroll tax exemption offers employers an exemption from social security payroll taxes for every worker hired in 2010 that has been unemployed for at least 60 days. There would also be an additional $1,000 income tax credit for every new employee retained for 52 weeks to be taken on the employer’s 2011 income tax return. Senator Orrin Hatch, the most senior Republican senator, authored the legislation with Senator Schumer. [CQ Weekly, 2/15/10]

REPUBLICANS HAVE SUPPORTED HELPING AMERICA’S SMALL BUSINESSES

Small Business Tax Write Off Has Bipartisan Support. The Reid jobs bill includes a provision allowing small businesses to write off more of their expenditures (Section 179 expensing). This means America’s small businesses will have more money to hire new workers and grow their business. [SA 3310 to HR 2847]

Snowe Has Introduced At Least 4 Bills Directly Dealing With Small Businesses Expensing. Snowe has been a strong advocate for small business and has sponsored and introduced at least 4 bills that deal with small businesses expensing. These bills include the “Small Business Stimulus Act of 2009” which amends “the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend enhanced small business expensing and to provide for a five-year net operating loss carryback for losses incurred in 2008 or 2009;” the “Small Business Expensing Permanency Act” of 2009 and 2005; and the “Small Business Expensing Improvement Act of 2003.” [S. 156, introduced 1/6/09; S. 2822, introduced 12/1/09; S. 1523, introduced 7/28/05; S. 158, introduced 1/14/03]

  • 2009: Snowe Has Advocated For Extending Section 179 Expensing To Help Small Businesses. Senators Snowe and Landrieu “introduced legislation to make permanent the enhanced Section 179 expensing limits enacted in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).” Snowe said, “Small businesses continue to struggle as a result of the current recession, and many are having trouble finding capital to make job-creating new investments….Our bill will permanently allow small businesses to expense up to $250,000 of new investments, enabling them to acquire vital new facilities and equipment. By permitting small businesses to deduct more of their equipment purchases today, they will retain substantial savings instead of waiting a period of years to recover their costs through depreciation. Additionally, this change would simultaneously save small firms the vital time currently required to comply with complex and confusing depreciation rules.” Senator Snowe also highlight her efforts to include this provision in the ARRA: “Both she and Chair Landrieu successfully advocated for the language that was included in the ARRA.” [Press Release, Office of Senator Snowe, 12/2/09 http://snowe.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressRoom.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=503f7c89-802a-23ad-4d17-a5809711bd02&Region_id=&Issue_id=d698893a-eb60-184e-a79e-52bb3abaed50 ]
  • 2008: Snowe Introduced Bipartisan Legislation To Help Small Business Expensing. “U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME), a member of the Senate Committee on Finance and Ranking Member of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, introduced legislation this afternoon aimed at helping small businesses by utilizing targeted tax incentives and expanding small business expensing. Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) is a co-sponsor of Senator Snowe’s measure. ‘The burden of re-energizing our economy cannot fall on the shoulders of working-class Americans alone,’ Senator Snowe said. ‘The economic engine that drives our economy is small businesses. Any economic stimulus package we consider must meet the unique needs of America’s small businesses.’ The legislation was offered by Senator Snowe this afternoon and would: Increase the amount of investment small businesses are able to write off immediately each year to $200,000 freeing up capital to be used for creating jobs.” [Press Release, Office of Senator Snowe, 1/24/08 http://snowe.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressRoom.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=ada27822-802a-23ad-4aa0-d47d5adc94fa&Region_id=&Issue_id=d698893a-eb60-184e-a79e-52bb3abaed50 ]
  • 2007: Snowe “Advocated” For More Favorable Small Business Expensing Rules. In a press release lauding the passage of the Finance Committee’s unanimous passage of the “Work Opportunity Act of 2007,” Senator Snowe “advocated for the inclusion of the following provisions in the Small Business and Work Opportunity Act of 2007 passed by the Senate Finance Committee today:” One of those critical provisions was “Small Business Expensing: This provision would extend for one year a provision that allows small business to expense more of their investment in qualified property, currently allowed up to $112,000. Allowing American small businesses to expense more of their investments like the purchase of essential new equipment provides substantial savings both in dollars and in the time small businesses would otherwise have to spend complying with complex and confusing depreciation rules. Moreover, new equipment will contribute to continued productivity growth in the business community.” [Press Release, Office of Senator Snowe, 1/18/07 http://snowe.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressRoom.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=35d25a02-802a-23ad-4130-fc8b1efb51b0&Region_id=&Issue_id=d698893a-eb60-184e-a79e-52bb3abaed50 ]

Grassley Has Supported Section 179 Expensing For Small Business. “According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, the package drafted by Baucus and the Finance Committee’s ranking Republican, Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, would extend for five years the work opportunity tax credit available to employers who hire low-income workers. The proposal also would extend for one year so-called Section 179 expensing for small businesses and broaden accelerated 15-year depreciation rules for leasehold improvements to include retail stores and new restaurants.” [CQ Today, 1/17/07]

BUILD AMERICA BONDS HAVE HAD BIPARTISAN SUPPORT

Build America Bonds Have Bipartisan Support. Build America Bonds were part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and have proven to be highly successful. These bonds allow state and local governments to borrow at lower costs to finance more infrastructure projects and put people to work. [Treasury Department Press Release, 4/3/09 http://www.ustreas.gov/press/releases/docs/BuildAmericaandSchoolConstructionBondsFactsheetFinal.pdf ]

Wyden’s “Build America Bonds Act Of 2009” Had Bipartisan Support. Senator Ron Wyden introduced S. 238, the “Build America Bonds Act of 2009.” The bill sought “to provide $50 billion in new transportation infrastructure funding through bonding to empower states and local governments to complete significant infrastructure projects across all modes of transportation, including roads, bridges, rail and transit systems, ports and inland waterways, and for other purposes.” This legislation was bipartisan and had two republican cosponsors – Senators Collins and Wicker. [CQ Bill Track, accessed 2/12/10]

  • Wicker: Build American Bonds Will Help Create “Thousands Of Jobs.” In a statement announcing his co-sponsorship of the Build America Bonds Act of 2009, Senator Wicker said, “The Build America Bonds Act represents a financially responsible way to make needed enhancements to our nation’s aging infrastructure….Making these investments now will create thousands of jobs while strengthening our transportation infrastructure to ensure our country remains economically viable and globally competitive in the future.” [“Bipartisan Group of Senators Re-Introduce Legislation to Create Jobs Through Infrastructure Investments,” Press Release, 1/15/09 http://wicker.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=NewsRoom.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=db86a763-0a74-f2bf-ed69-e5c6f67a35a0&Region_id=&Issue_id= ]
  • Collins: Build America Bonds Could Help Create “Thousand Of New Jobs.” In a statement announcing her co-sponsorship of the Build America Bonds Act of 2009, Senator Collins said, “Much of our nation’s infrastructure is in dire need of repair….With the funding made possible by this legislation, America could improve much of its infrastructure and create thousands of new jobs in the process.” [“Bipartisan Group of Senators Re-Introduce Legislation to Create Jobs Through Infrastructure Investments,” Press Release, 1/15/09 http://wicker.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=NewsRoom.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=db86a763-0a74-f2bf-ed69-e5c6f67a35a0&Region_id=&Issue_id= ]

Wyden’s “Build America Bonds Act Of 2007” Also Had Bipartisan Support. Senator Ron Wyden introduced S. 2021, the “Build America Bonds Act of 2007.” The bill sought “to provide $50,000,000,000 in new transportation infrastructure funding through bonding to empower states and local governments to complete significant infrastructure projects across all modes of transportation, including roads, bridges, rail and transit systems, ports and inland waterways, and for other purposes.” This legislation was bipartisan and had five republican cosponsors – Senators Collins, Thune, Vitter, Coleman and Dole. [CQ Bill Track, accessed 2/12/10]

“Build America Bonds Act of 2003” Was Bipartisan And Introduced By A Republican Senator. In 2003, then-Senator Jim Talent introduced the “Build America Bond Act of 2003” which sought “to provide $50,000,000,000 in new transportation infrastructure funding through federal bonding to empower states and local governments to complete significant infrastructure projects across all modes of transportation, including roads, rail, transit, aviation, and water, and for other purposes.” The bill had bipartisan support including 7 republican co-sponsors: Senators Collins, Chambliss, Graham, Allen, Campbell, Coleman and Dole. [CQ Bill Track, accessed 2/12/10]

Build America Bonds Are “One Of The Economic Recovery Effort’s Biggest Successes.” “When Congress wrote the Build America Bond program into February’s $787 billion economic-stimulus bill, many predicted a flop. Nine months later, the municipal-bond program, which provides a federal subsidy to help states and other local governments raise funds, looks to be one of the economic recovery effort’s biggest successes. Earlier this month, the volume of BABs, as they have come to be called, crossed the $50 billion mark. ‘People originally said it would eliminate the issuance of municipal bonds,’ says John Cummings, who is head of muni-bond investments at money-management firm PIMCO. ‘Instead they have stabilized the market and helped to create jobs.’” [TIME Magazine, 11/17/09 http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1939720,00.html ]

Build America Bonds Have “Saved Or Even Boosted Jobs.” “Observers say Build America Bonds have lowered borrowing costs for states and other local governments. The bonds have renewed and expanded investor interest in the muni-bond sector. And by getting money into the hands of cash-strapped local governments, the bond program has saved or even boosted jobs, stimulating the economy.” [TIME Magazine, 11/17/09 http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1939720,00.html ]

EXTENDING THE HIGHWAY TRUST FUND CREATES JOBS

Highway Trust Fund Extension Has Bipartisan Support. The Reid jobs bill extends existing highway programs which provide states and localities with the certainty they need to make decisions on projects. It allows for billions more to be invested in infrastructure throughout the nation and saves one million jobs. [Media Conference Call with John Horsley, Executive Director, American Association Of State Highway And Transportation Officials, 2/17/10]

Earlier This Year, Republicans Overwhelmingly Supported Extending The Highway Trust Fund. In July, the Senate passed H.R. 3357, “A bill to restore sums to the Highway Trust Fund, and for other purposes.” This legislation extended “funding for the Highway Trust Fund through the current fiscal year, which ends in September….The bill would transfer $7 billion from the general fund to the Highway Trust Fund, which is expected to run short of cash sometime in August.” The final vote to pass the bill was 79-17, with only Republicans voting against the legislation. [CQ Today, 7/30/09; S.V. 254 http://senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=111&session=1&vote=00254 ]

18 Republicans Supported Extending Highway Trust Fund In Committee. “The committee approved, 18-1, a ‘clean extension’ with only two technical amendments that would continue current surface transportation law through March 2011 and provide an infusion of $20 billion to the Highway Trust Fund, which is running out of money. Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) was the lone ‘no’ vote on the bill.” Republican Senators Alexander, Crapo, Barrasso, Inhofe, Bond and Vitter all supported the legislation. [CongressNow, 7/15/09; CQ Committee Coverage, 7/15/09]

Voinovich Knows Highway Funds Give American Jobs, Wanted An Even Larger Extension. Earlier this year, Senator George Voinovich proposed an amendment to actually shorten the length of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act to increase the pressure to complete an even larger extension. The SAFETEA included an influx of $20 billion to extend the life of the Highway Trust Fund. Voinovich acknowledged that transportation funding like the Highway Trust Fund creates jobs. “At the business meeting, Sen. Voinovich offered an amendment to shorten the length of the extension to 12 months to keep the pressure on to reauthorize a robust multi-year transportation bill that would meet America’s surface transportation needs and create thousands of jobs.” [Press Release, Senator Voinovich, 7/15/09 http://voinovich.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=NewsCenter.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=8034a8db-be1a-ab3f-773c-b9f5c4ea8cc9&Region_id=&Issue_id= ]

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