Most of Obama’s Jobs Proposals Have Drawn GOP Support in the Past
Published September 10, 2011
President Obama is pitching his newly unveiled $450 billion jobs plan in large part by arguing that all the proposed tax cuts and spending measures have won bipartisan support in the past.
“Now, everything in the American Jobs Act, everything in there is the kind of proposal that’s been supported in the past by both Democrats and Republicans,” the president told a friendly audience on House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s home turf Friday at the University of Richmond.
Indeed, most of the proposals have drawn support from some Republicans and a few were even hatched by them. But the proposals have never been combined in one package in an effort to jumpstart a weakening economy and Republicans have asked the president to keep them separate when he sends a legislative text to them next week..
The White House, haunted by criticisms of its projections for its 2009 stimulus, doesn’t plan to forecast job creation in this plan. But Mark Zandi, an economist with Moody’s Analytics, said the plan would create 1.9 million jobs and increase economic growth by 2 percentage points next year.
Here is a list of Obama’s key proposals and the Republican support they have drawn in the past
Payroll Tax Holiday
- Obama has proposed cutting in half the taxes paid by businesses on their first $5 million in payroll, targeting the benefit to the 98 percent of firms that have payroll below this threshold Republicans widely supported this in the past, most recently during last year’s debate on extending the Bush tax cuts.
- Obama also proposes completely eliminate payroll taxes for firms that increase their payroll by adding new workers or increasing the wages of their current worker (the benefit is capped at the first $50 million in payroll increases). Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, sponsored a payroll tax cut for employers in 2010 who hired workers who have been unemployed for at least 60 days.
Extending 100 Percent Company Expensing into 2012
- At a cost of $5 billion, Obama wants to extend a 100 percent expensing tax break for companies, allowing them to immediately take a tax deduction for investment in new plant and equipment. This was part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. And Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, has introduced at least 4 bills directly dealing with small businesses expensing, including the "Small Business Stimulus Act of 2009" which provides for a five-year net operating loss carryback for losses incurred in 2008 or 2009. Sens. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, also included the proposal in their legislation that extends for five years the work opportunity tax credit available to employers who hire low-income workers.
Returning Heroes Tax Credit
- Obama has proposed providing tax credits from $5,600 to $9,600 to businesses that hire unemployed veterans.Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and Sen. Scott Brown R-Mass. have offered strong support for this proposal.
Aid for State and Local Governments
- Obama's plan offers $30 billion to schools to prevent teacher layoffs and $5 billion to keep police and firefighters on the job. Republicans have not offered recent support for this proposal.
- Obama wants to spend $30 billion to modernize public schools across the country, a proposal that builds on Sen. Ron Wyden’s, D-Ore., legislation, Build America Bonds, which was part of the 2009 stimulus.The legislation, which drew bipartisan support, sought "to provide $50 billion in new transportation infrastructure funding through bonding. Two Republicans – Sens Susan Collins of Maine and Roger Wicker of Mississippi, co-sponsored the bill.
- Obama wants to spend $15 billion on rehabilitating homes, businesses and communities.The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development cites widespread, bipartisan support for "Project Rebuild," but no Republican support for the program in its current iteration could be found.
National Infrastructure Bank
- The president wants to spend $10 billion to capitalize an infrastructure bank to leverage private and public investment for modernizing roads, rail, airports and waterways. Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Kay Bailey Hutchinson, R-Texas, has co-sponsored similar legislation.
- Expanding access to high-speed wireless as part of a plan for freeing up the nation's spectrum. Rep. Greg Walden R-Ore., has held hearings on the role of spectrum policy in promoting wireless broadband, bringing interoperable broadband communications to public safety, creating jobs, and reducing the deficit.
Extending Unemployment Insurance
- Obama has proposed reforming the jobless aid system with a “bridge to work” program that offers temporary work or job training to the unemployed. The proposal is based on the Georgia Works program, which has been supported by Republicans, most recently House Speaker Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.