This weekend President Obama called on Congress to pass the American Jobs Act via his weekly address (below). He highlighted how the proposals will create needed jobs rebuilding and modernizing America and keep first responders on the job and teachers in the classroom. The President’s plan will put Americans back to work in key areas that are central to America’s future competitiveness. It wil repair and modernize classrooms across the country and make sure that teachers who have been laid off because of budget cuts can be brought back to work. It will take on the fact that the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) awarded the United States a ‘D’ for the overall condition of its infrastructure. Both to modernize the nation’s roads, railways, airports and schools and to put hundreds of thousands of workers back on the job, the President is proposing a strategy that combines immediate investments in infrastructure with innovative reforms to ensure that the best projects get financing. These investments in infrastructure would not only put people to work now, but also yield lasting benefits for the economy, increasing growth in the long run.
- A “Returning Heroes” hiring tax credit for veterans: This provides tax credits from $5,600 to $9,600 to encourage the hiring of unemployed veterans.
- Preventing up to 280,000 teacher layoffs, while keeping cops and firefighters on the job.
- Modernizing at least 35,000 public schools across the country, supporting new science labs, Internet-ready classrooms and renovations at schools across the country, in rural and urban areas.
- Immediate investments in infrastructure and a bipartisan National Infrastructure Bank, modernizing our roads, rail, airports and waterways while putting hundreds of thousands of workers back on the job.
- A New “Project Rebuild”, which will put people to work rehabilitating homes, businesses and communities, leveraging private capital and scaling land banks and other public-private collaborations.
- Expanding access to high-speed wireless as part of a plan for freeing up the nation’s spectrum.