Dr. No Jobs
Last month, it was Rep. John “Job Killer” Mica (R-FL) whose extreme anti-worker agenda shut down the Federal Aviation Administration. After being dogged by accusations of killing jobs thanks to a successful campaign by the Communications Workers of America (the union fighting to organize workers at Delta Airlines), Mica cried uncle and the House of Representatives passed a clean four-month FAA extension to stop the FAA from shutting down again tomorrow when the current short-term extension runs out. The House bill also includes a short-term extension of the surface transportation (“highway”) bill to keep badly-needed construction projects around the country on track.
It looked like smooth sailing for this vital bill until one of the Senate’s masters of gridlock stepped in to block the Senate from acting on the House-passed bill. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) is known as “Dr. No” due to his penchant for blocking even routine bills over various and sundry petty grievances. Coburn’s objection to the FAA-transportation bill:
“Congress’s refusal to live within its means has created an economic disaster and a debt that is now our greatest national security threat,” he said.
[Coburn's spokesman] said Coburn was also opposed to provisions in the transportation bill designed to increase the number of bike paths and trees along roadways.
“The beautification mandate is an indefensible threat against public safety that forces states to prioritize bike paths over bridge repair,” he said.
Yes, you read that right. Coburn will shut down the FAA because he thinks bike paths and trees are “an indefensible threat against public safety.”
Let’s review the consequences of Coburn’s vehement opposition to bike paths and trees:
- 80,000 people out work by the weekend
- Another 1.8 MILLION jobs nationwide threatened if the surface transportation bill is not renewed before the end of the month
- $2.5 BILLION in job-creating construction projects idled immediately, with tens of billions of dollars more at risk by month’s end
- $200 MILLION a week in lost revenue to the government because the FAA can’t collect taxes while it is shut down
- A taxpayer-funded windfall to the airlines, who last time the FAA shut down simply kept ticket prices high and pocketed the money they’d otherwise pass on to the FAA in taxes
In addition to killing jobs, Coburn’s antics are also holding up the Senate from approving billions in emergency aid for disaster victims.
Dr. No Jobs Coburn proves once again that Republicans don’t care about creating new jobs or even just keeping people in the ones they already have. Republicans will do anything — including threatening nearly 2 MILLION jobs and holding up aid for disaster victims — to advance their extreme Tea Party agenda.
House Republicans Hit The Brakes On Jobs Program
With Senate Republicans busying themselves with throwing tens of thousands of people out of work as soon as this weekend, House Republicans have their sights set on a more medium-term plan to kill American jobs.
As we’ve discussed before, Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA) is insisting that any disaster aid be offset with spending cuts elsewhere. Cantor’s budgetary offset of choice? A successful Bush-era program to encourage advanced technology vehicle manufacturing here in the U.S.
Cantor wants to slash $1.5 BILLION from the program, which has already created about 40,000 jobs in 11 states. It’s estimated that the advanced vehicles manufactured as a result of the program will also save us a whopping 311 MILLION gallons of gasoline.
Robbing the program of $1.5 BILLION could imperil its next round of loans — loans to companies right here in America that will create 50-60,000 new American jobs in states like Ohio, Louisiana, Florida, Illinois, and Michigan.
Once again, it’s clear that Republicans are willing to throw American jobs, American workers, and American manufacturing under the bus in order to advance their own extreme Tea Party agenda.
Evening Brief: Important Stories That You May Have Missed
Liberty University students call it “un-Christian” to let someone die because he lacks health insurance – an idea that was cheered at the Republican debate this week.
The FBI probe surrounding Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) grows as agents raid home of former aide.
Will Facebooking at work soon become a felony?
Deregulation of the Burmese python is House Republican’s newest and zaniest idea for job creation.
The FBI has an Islamophobic approach to counterterrorism training.
Newest report on BP oil spill shows poor supervision and accountability at fault.
A man in Texas will be executed despite the racist overtones of his trial.
With the upcoming vote on recognizing Palestine in the UN, an analysis shows that Israel’s isolation in the U.N. has been consistent over time.
Sign Here: Tell Congress to Rebuild America
For the past decade, Congress has had no problem spending over $120 billion to rebuild schools, roads, bridges and other essential infrastructure in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, America’s infrastructure is crumbling and millions of people are out of work.
All the Republican leaders in Congress voted to approve massive amounts of funding to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan without a penny in offsets. But now they are opposing President Obama’s proposal to rebuild America even though it’s fully paid for.
Contact your member today and demand we invest at least as much in our own communities as we did in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Click here to contact your member of Congress.