While some positive signs have recently appeared on the horizon for American workers, Democrats understand that the economic recovery has yet to reach millions of American families. That’s why Senate Democrats are committed to championing legislation that promotes long-lasting, meaningful job creation. In February, Senate Democrats announced a Jobs Agenda for the year to put Americans back to work and strengthen our economy. And, over the past month, Senate Democrats have passed several bills that will spur job creation: the Travel Promotion Act (P.L.111-145), the American Workers,State, and Business Relief Act(H.R. 4213), and the Hiring Incentives to Restore EmploymentAct (P.L. 111-147).
But the work of Senate Democrats is far from over. Throughout the year, Senate Democrats will offer job creation legislation that will support small businesses, protect public service jobs, encourage enhanced energy efficiency, and rebuild our nation’s infrastructure. Senate Democrats are on the side of American workers and American families. We understand that Americans are ready and willing to participate in our economic recovery and contribute to the growth and prosperity of our nation.
Our Jobs Agenda includes the following proposals to boost job creation:
Help small business grow and prosper. While small businesses have historically been the engine for economic growth and job creation, last year small businesses accounted for 85 percent of all job losses. That’s why the Democratic Jobs Agenda includes proposals to help small businesses weather these difficult economic times. Programs aimed to help small businesses more easily access the credit they need and access export markets will help our entrepreneurs and family-owned businesses to expand and hire more workers.
Invest in public service jobs and worker training. Congress has passed and the President has signed legislation that expands the Build America Bonds Program to help state and local governments fund projects such as schools, hospitals, courthouses, water and sewer projects, and public housing. Our Jobs Agenda will also include measures to help states prevent devastating cuts to education, law enforcement and safety personnel. These measures would aim to save jobs from being lost due to depleted state revenues. In addition, Democrats understand that American workers need to learn the skills necessary to perform newly created jobs. Training investments would support workers and youth and create new opportunities.
Create jobs through energy efficiency. Our nation’s construction, manufacturing and industrial industries are struggling with job loss and lending constraints. These challenges could be addressed through the creation and strengthening of mechanisms that help homeowners, manufacturers, and public housing buildings become more energy efficient. Improving our energy efficiency will also put Americans back to work as home builders and contractors make energy efficiency improvements, and homeowners, businesses, and industry save and invest money they would have otherwise spent on their utility bills.
Rebuild our nation’s infrastructure. Our nation’s infrastructure is in alarming condition and immediate repairs and improvements should be made to our transportation systems, water infrastructure, schools and ports, all of which would help to create jobs. The Democratic Jobs Agenda recognizes that important investments are needed to maintain and strengthen our nation’s infrastructure and to create jobs in 2010.