Senate Democrats

Schumer: Cantor Speech Shows House GOP Scrambling To Play Catch-Up On Jobs Issue

Ahead of House Majority Leader’s Address at Stanford, Schumer Says House GOP’s Agenda So Far Has ‘Forgotten’ About Small Businesses

House Republicans Have Been Too Busy Jamming Social Policy Measures Onto Budget To Do Anything On Jobs

WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer released the following statement Monday in advance of a speech by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on House Republicans’ “pro-growth economic plan”:

“House Republicans must be realizing they have some catching-up to do on the jobs issue. It will take more than a speech to fix an agenda that has so far forgotten about small businesses. Since taking over the House, Republicans have been too busy jamming a far-right social agenda onto the federal budget to bring up a single jobs bill for a vote in the House. They have voted to raise taxes on small businesses and end loan guarantees that provide important access to capital. Each day, House Republicans are proving that too much ideology in government is a burden for U.S. businesses just like too much regulation is.”

House GOP Tries To Play Catch-Up On Jobs, But Record Shows They’ve Forgotten About Small Businesses

After Doing Nothing On Jobs, Republicans Have Started to Pay Lip Service to Jobs Issue.

Republicans ‘Worried They Are Losing Ground On Jobs.’  “As Vice President Joe Biden met with congressional leaders Thursday to try to resolve the impasse over government spending, Republicans were beginning to worry they were losing ground on voters’ top concern: jobs.” [Los Angeles Times, 3/3/11]

Republicans Think They Need to Make A Better Case on Jobs. “While Republicans keep up the drumbeat on budget cuts, Senate GOP leaders and freshmen agree: The party needs to better make their case to voters that reining in the national debt will create jobs.”  [Politico, 3/11/11]

Republican Jobs Plan: Insert the Word ‘Jobs’ Into Talking Points and Speeches. “GOP leaders have recently begun inserting the word ‘jobs’ into talking points, floor statements and press conferences. They acknowledge that they haven’t done a good enough job framing the current debate over spending as an economic issue.”  [Roll Call, 3/13/11]

But The House GOP Has Repeatedly Blocked Efforts to Help Small Businesses.

House GOP Opposed $12 Billion in Tax Relief For Small Businesses. In September 2010, all but one member of the House GOP caucus opposed the Small Business Jobs Act.  The bill contained 8 different extensions or expansions of tax cuts for small businesses, which added up to $12 billion in tax relief for small businesses.  The tax cuts included the elimination of all capital gains taxes for investment in small businesses and an increase in the amount of deductions for start up costs a small business owner can claim.  [Vote 539, 9/23/10;; New York Times, 9/14/10]

Republicans Voted to Repeal Tax Cuts For Four Million Small Businesses. Earlier this year Republicans voted to repeal tax credits for four million small businesses to help them pay for health coverage for their workers.  To qualify for the credit a company had to have fewer than 25 full employees and pay an average salary of less than $50,000 a year.  The credit was up to 35% depending on the size of the company.  [Vote 14, 1/19/11; Los Angeles Times, 12/27/10]

  • Survey: Tax Credits Are Being Widely Used. A Kaiser Foundation survey found that more small businesses were offering health benefits to their workers by using a tax credit in the health care reform law that provides small businesses offset the cost of providing health care to their employees.  In the first six months after the healthcare bill was signed into law United Health Group, the country’s largest insurer, added 75,000 new customers who work for companies of less than 50 employees.  Coventry Health Care, an insurer who is focused on mainly small businesses had an 8% jump in the first nine months of 2010 when is signed contracts to over 115,000 workers.  [Los Angeles Times, 12/27/10]

House GOP Opposed Bill that Created $30 Billion Lending Fund for Small Businesses. In September 2010, every member of the House GOP caucus save one opposed the Small Business Jobs Act.  The bill, which was ultimately signed by President Obama, created a $30 billion lending fund for small businesses. [Vote 539, 9/23/10;; New York Times, 9/14/10]

House GOP Spending Plan Cuts Funding For Loan Guarantee Program That Helps Small Businesses Fund Clean Energy Projects and Create Jobs. HR.1, the House GOP’s spending proposal, contains billions in cuts to the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program.  The program provides loan guarantees to help businesses mitigate the risk of funding clean energy projects. [HR. 1; Center For American Progress, 3/3/11]

Speaker Boehner Rejected Concerns That GOP Spending Plan Would Cut Hundreds of Thousands of Jobs, Saying ‘So Be It.’ Despite independent estimates that H.R. 1, the House GOP’s spending proposal, would eliminate between 200,000-700,000 jobs, Speaker Boehner has rejected concerns about possible job losses. Asked about the concern at a press conference in February, Boehner declared, “So be it.” [Reuters, 3/2/11; Washington Post, 2/28/11; Washington Post, 2/15/11]