On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I urge you to support the Senate version of the American Jobs Act (S. 1660) offered by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). Our national leaders must make a bipartisan commitment to immediate job creation and passage of the American Jobs Act would show Americans that Washington is ready and able to respond to the economic crisis.
Last week, TTD’s Executive Committee unanimously voted to endorse the transportation and infrastructure investments embodied in the American Jobs Act. This legislation would provide $50 billion for programs at the U.S. Department of Transportation and an additional $10 billion for infrastructure investments through the American Infrastructure Financing Authority. It is significant that the bill includes investments in virtually all areas of transportation and would help simultaneously restore our crumbling infrastructure and at the same time put half million people to work.
The bill includes several important provisions that would speed job creation by expediting the distribution of federal funds. The investments in transportation and infrastructure would not require state matching requirements, which is important in this time of state budgetary cuts. It also would pay out most federal aid through existing formula programs, eliminating the need for new regulatory structures.
To pay for these investments and others in the American Jobs Act, the Majority Leader’s bill includes a surtax on household income above $1 million. We support this offset. After all, 14 million Americans are out of work, our nation’s soldiers are fighting two wars on foreign soil and income inequality is skyrocketing. Americans always come together in times of crisis to make sacrifices for a better future. This is such a time and everyone must pay their fair share.
Transportation labor urges you to support the American Jobs Act. We ask members of the Senate to put aside partisan concerns and pass this measure. If you have any questions about this legislation, please contact me directly or TTD Legislative Representative Brendan Danaher at 202/628-9262.