Progress Report On Jobs Legislation In Congress

Local Jobs for America Act (HR 4812)

House Sponsor: Rep. George Miller, D-Calif.
Senate Sponsor: None as of May 24, 2010.
Progress so far: Awaiting action by the House Education and Labor Committee.

Through a funding formula based on the Community Development Block Grant program, the bill would direct $75 billion to cities, towns and counties to save municipal jobs and prevent layoffs. Of the $75 billion, $52.5 billion would go directly to communities with at least 50,000 residents, and $22.5 billion would go directly to states to distribute to communities with fewer than 50,000 residents. The funds may only be used for compensation of full-time, full-year positions and jobs that are regular government or local community organization jobs, under the proposed legislation.

It also includes $23 billion to help states support an estimated 250,000 education jobs; $1.18 billion to put 5,500 law enforcement officers on the beat; and $500 million to hire and retain fire fighters and $500 million for approximately 50,000 additional on-the-job training positions slots to help private business expand employment.

Keep Our Educators Working Act (S 3206)

Senate Sponsor: Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.
House Sponsor: None as of May 24, 2010 (but provisions are contained in HR 4812, above, and jobs legislation that passed the House in December).
Progress so far: Referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. It may be added as an amendment to the H.R.4899, the Supplemental Appropriations bill.

The Keep Our Educators Working Act will create a $23 billion Education Jobs Fund modeled after the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund that was established in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Funding could be used for compensation and benefits and other expenses necessary to retain existing employees, and for the hiring of new employees, in order to provide early childhood, elementary, secondary, or postsecondary educational and related services; or on-the-job training activities for education-related careers.

American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act (HR 4213)

House Sponsor: Sander Levin,  D-Mich.
Senate Sponsor: Max Baucus, D-Mont.
Progress so far: Versions passed the House December 9, 2009 and the Senate March 10, 2010. A revised version of this legislation was sent to the House floor on May 27, 2010.

Sometimes referred to as the "tax extenders" bill, this legislation would continue extended unemployment and health care benefits created to address recession-related long-term unemployment, authorize $1 billion for 300,000 summer jobs, and keep on the books a series of tax credits and programs designed to promote business and economic development, including the Build America Bonds program. To cover the cost, the legislation closes several tax loopholes at least partially, including the "carried interest" loophole that enables investment income to be taxed at a lower rate than earned income. The legislation also contains what’s called the "doc fix," increasing doctor reimbursement rates for Medicaid.