How Many Jobs Will the GOP Kill?
Yesterday, we profiled the town hall turmoil that has greeted Republicans at every turn this summer. Time and time again, Americans demanded jobs, called on the wealthy to pay their fair share, and said we need to protect Social Security and Medicare instead of signing pledges to protect handouts to hedge fund billionaires and giveaways to Big Oil.
When Congress comes back to Washington next week, it will be greeted with a packed calendar that will allow Republicans to show whether they are interested in creating jobs and fixing the economy or simply beholden to an extreme ideological agenda that could send the economy back over a cliff.
Here’s some key events to look out for.
- President Obama’s Jobs Plan: Next Wednesday, President Obama has requested a joint session of Congress in order to present his plan to put Americans back to work. The details of the plan have not been released, but it is expected to be a far-reaching initiative to take on the current unemployment crisis.
Key Question: Will the GOP oppose the president’s plan if it asks the wealthy and corporations to pay their fair share in order to finance programs that could put millions of Americans back to work?
- Super Committee Gets Underway: The Super Committee of six Democrats and six Republicans created by the debt ceiling deal will begin the work of identifying another $1.2 TRILLION in net budget cuts.
Key Questions: Will the GOP insist on their extreme spending cuts-only agenda and refuse to ask the wealthy and corporations like Big Oil to pay their fair share? Will the GOP support revenue increases to pay for the programs we need to put millions of Americans back to work and protect Medicare and Social Security or will they ask grandma to sacrifice while Big Oil and hedge fund billionaires aren’t asked to do anything?
- Disaster Funds: With the FEMA Disaster Fund running low on cash, it is likely that Congress will have to approve supplemental funds to pay for this year’s disasters as well as ongoing reconstruction efforts for disasters that happened years ago. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) is insisting that any additional disaster funds be offset with steep cuts to first responders, even though he himself once opposed offsetting disaster funds when it came to helping out his own district.
Key Question: Will the GOP stick to its extreme ideological agenda and threaten vital funds for our nation’s first responders and disaster victims?
- FAA Shutdown: Last month, House Republicans, led by Rep. John Mica (R-FL), forced the Federal Aviation Administration to partially shut down — which threatened 74,000 jobs, threw Americans across the country out of work, handed a $400 million taxpayer-funded windfall to the airlines, and put $2.5 BILLION in infrastructure projects on hold. That shutdown was resolved after emergency intervention by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, but the temporary re-authorization of the FAA runs out Sept. 16.
Key Question: Will the GOP stick to its extreme anti-worker agenda and again threaten billions in job-creating infrastructure projects and more than 74,000 American jobs?
- Transportation Bill: President Obama today called for a clean extension of the transportation bill that funds the construction of highways, rail, and transportation projects across the country. The current bill expires at the end of September. Failing to renew will have dire consequences across the country, as funding for infrastructure projects drys up and hundreds of thousands of jobs blow away. House Republicans have proposed an alternative bill that slashes transportation funding and would still kill nearly 500,000 jobs.
Key Question: Will the House GOP agree to a clean extension — something supported by even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and very conservative senators like Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) — or will it stick to a Tea Party agenda that lets our infrastructure crumble and throws hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work?
- GOP Presidential Debates: The 2012 hopefuls will square off in three debates this month: Sept. 7 at the Reagan Library in California, a Tea Party debate in Florida on Sept. 12, and another Florida debate on Sept. 22. These will be the first debates for Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Key Question: Will these candidates propose anything that will actually create jobs and fix the economy or will we just hear more calls for massive giveaways to the corporations and wealthy while slashing programs like Medicare and Social Security?
In One Sentence: This will be a September to remember as we see if the GOP will once again put the interests of the wealthiest Americans and corporate special interests ahead of creating jobs and making the economy work for all Americans.
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