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Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank Discusses the American Jobs Act at 113th League of Wisconsin Municipalities Annual Conference

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 19, 2001
CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
202-482-4883

Blank also toured Palermo’s Pizza with Mayor Barrett and met with local business leaders as part of White House Business Council outreach effort

Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank traveled to Milwaukee today to deliver the keynote address at the 113th League of Wisconsin Municipalities Annual Conference to discuss the American Jobs Act–how it will spur economic growth, accelerate job creation and benefit Wisconsin.  The League is a nonprofit and nonpartisan association of cities and villages that serves as an information clearinghouse, advocacy organization and legal resource for Wisconsin municipalities; it is comprised of 190 cities and 392 villages.

At the Conference, Blank discussed details of President Obama’s American Jobs Act.  Blank highlighted the different ways the plan would make an immediate impact on job creation: cutting taxes for small businesses, putting more money in the pockets of consumers through an expanded payroll tax cut, and preventing the layoffs of teachers, firefighters and policemen, while putting construction workers to work through much-needed renovations to school, roads, rail and airports renovations. Blank underlined the need for Congress to act quickly on the bipartisan measures in the Jobs Act.

“Outside experts say the American Jobs Act would put nearly two million people to work, while putting more money in the pockets of workers and repairing infrastructure vital to enhancing America’s competitiveness,” Blank said. “It’s time for Democrats and Republicans in Congress to come together and swiftly pass the measures in the Jobs Act, which will put people back to work right away and put more money in the pockets of American families.”

Earlier in the day, Blank joined Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett on a tour at Palermo’s Pizza, a rapidly growing regional company that added almost 100 jobs last year and is leading the “Earn to Learn” program with the Mayor’s Office, which gives high school-aged youth a chance to develop marketable skills through direct work experience and training seminars. 

Blank also hosted a White House Business Council roundtable discussion with local business leaders to discuss the jobs plan in further detail, challenges facing America’s business community, ways to improve U.S. economic competitiveness and the help that is available to businesses from agencies across the federal government.  

The American Jobs Act would:

  • Slash the payroll tax in half for 98 percent of businesses, benefitting 110,000 Wisconsin companies;
  • Invest in modernization of highways, transit, railways and aviation infrastructure, immediately supporting 7,500 jobs in Wisconsin;
  • Allow localities to avoid laying off teachers, firefighters and cops – 7,400 in Wisconsin alone;
  • Modernize at least 35,000 public schools, supporting renovations across the country and as many as 4,800 jobs in Wisconsin;
  • Put the long-term unemployed – a group that totals 106,000 in Wisconsin – back to work by making the most innovative reforms to unemployment insurance in 40 years;
  • Extend unemployment insurance, preventing five million Americans, including 58,100 in Wisconsin, from losing their benefits; and,
  • Cut payroll taxes in half for 160 million workers next year, giving the typical Wisconsin family a $1,580 tax cut.