Monday, April 12, 2010

Obama Election-Year Jobs Agenda Stalls in Congress

President Obama’s election year promise to create jobs in the country is going no where in Congress because of a lack of money to pay for such a program. According to Andrew Taylor, of the Associated Press, both Republicans and the Democratic chairman of the Senate Budget Committee objected to using leftover funds from the TARP program to pay for a new jobs bill.

Such a move, they insisted, would add tens of billions of dollars to the $12.8 trillion national debt.

An $80 billion-plus Senate plan promised an infusion of cash to build roads and schools, help local governments keep teachers on the payroll, and provide rebates for homeowners who make energy-saving investments. Two months after the plan was introduced, most of those main elements remain on the Senate's shelf.

Obama's proposed $250 bonus payment to Social Security recipients is dead for the year, having lost a Senate vote last month.

What's going ahead instead are small-bore initiatives. That includes modest help for small business or simple extensions of parts from last year's economic stimulus measure. None is expected to make an appreciable dent in an unemployment rate, stubbornly stuck at 9.7 percent, which is more that double what it was three years ago.

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