Yesterday, President Barack Obama gave a speech at the Brookings Institute outlining his goals for a prospective job creation bill. The speech outlined three key areas: 1) Helping small businesses expand investment, hire workers and access credit; 2) Investing in America’s roads, bridges and infrastructure; and 3) Creating jobs through energy efficiency and clean-energy investments.
The White House fact sheet on these goals can be found here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/president-obama-announces-proposals-accelerate-job-growth-and-lay-foundation-robust.
President Obama’s speech can be viewed here: http://www.brookings.edu/events/2009/1208_jobs_obama.aspx.
Congress is beginning to work on a jobs package, but it is unclear whether Congress will be able to move a bill prior to adjourning for the holidays. House Democratic leaders have indicated that they have a strong desire to introduce a bill prior to adjournment. ACCT is working to gather co-sponsors for H.R. 4196, the Community College Emergency Stabilization Fund Act, sponsored by Reps. John Larson (D-CT) and Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX). The bill currently has 12 additional co-sponsors.
In other news, House and Senate Appropriations leaders announced that they had agreed to a nearly $450 billion omnibus appropriations bill that will include 5 appropriations bills, including $163.6 billion for the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations bill. The bill provides for a $5,550 Pell Grant maximum. Additionally, other funding levels include: 1) $125 million for the Career Pathways Innovation Fund (formerly Community-Based Job Training Grant program); 2) $603 million for minority-serving institutions; and 3) $40 million for a green jobs program. A summary can be viewed at: http://appropriations.house.gov/pdf/FY10_LHHS_Conference_Summary.pdf.
The passage of the omnibus appropriations bill will result in one remaining appropriations bill, for defense appropriations. Congress is working to pass these bills soon because the current continuing resolution, which is funding the federal government, expires on December 18th. Congress may use the defense appropriations bill as the vehicle to move any jobs bill.