I had written to Senator Feinstein a while ago to urge her to support The American Jobs Act. Here is her considered response to me today, November 10, 2011:
Thank you for contacting me to express your support for President Obama’s jobs proposal, the “American Jobs Act.” I likewise support the President’s jobs proposal, and I welcome this opportunity to respond.
As you know, on September 8, 2011 President Obama addressed a Joint Session of Congress to propose his new employment initiative, the “American Jobs Act.” This $447 billion plan aims to reduce unemployment and boost the economy by extending and expanding soon-to-expire payroll tax cuts and unemployment insurance, as well as providing much-needed funding for major transportation and infrastructure projects. The bill would also provide aid to states to retain millions of teachers and first responders during difficult budgetary times.
Economists have projected this package, if implemented fully, would create as many as 1.9 million jobs nationwide, lowering the unemployment rate by one percent and increasing the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) between 0.7 – 2%. Please know that, like you, I believe Congress must do more to solve the nation’s persistent unemployment crisis. I believe that the potential for a double-dip recession requires that Congress take immediate, bipartisan action to help increase economic growth in the short term, while simultaneously reducing our national debt over the long run.
On October 10, 2011, the Senate voted on a motion to invoke cloture, a procedure used to advance legislation, on proceeding to consider the “American Jobs Act.” While a simple majority is required for a bill to pass the Senate, cloture requires a 60 vote majority. I voted to support the jobs bill and for cloture, but Senate Republicans uniformly voted against cloture for this bill and the motion was rejected by a vote of 50-49.
In light of this vote, Senator Reid has begun to introduce the “American Jobs Act” as a series of smaller bills. I am cosponsor of the “Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act” (S. 1723) and the “Rebuild America Jobs Act” (S. 1769), which are the first of the smaller bills to be introduced. While Senate Republicans uniformly opposed the “Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act” by a vote of 50-50, please know that I will continue to work with my colleagues to evaluate, and hopefully pass, the President’s plan.
Once again, thank you for writing. I hope you will continue to keep in touch on issues of importance to you. If you have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841. Best regards.
United States Senator