Saturday, May 29, 2010

House Passes Watered-Down Jobs Bill


House Passes Watered-Down Jobs Bill, Too Late to Help Jobless
by Tula Connell, May 28, 2010

By 215-204, the U.S. House today passed a watered-down version of H.R. 4213, “The Promoting American Jobs, Closing Tax Loopholes and Preventing Outsourcing Act of 2010.” The bill extends unemployment insurance (UI) for six months. But the Senate, now on vacation, will not even consider the bill until the week of June 7, a week after UI expires for millions of jobless workers.

The bill that passed today did not include the COBRA extension or Medicaid assistance to the states. It does include $23 billion in funding to put off 21 percent cuts in Medicare reimbursements to doctors for 19 months and ensures that Medicare beneficiaries have access to quality and affordable medical care. It also includes subsidies for local infrastructure projects by extending the Build America Bonds program and funds for summer job creation.

Earlier this week, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told members of Congress, “If you’re not for this bill, you’re not for jobs.” Today, Trumka says: "We are profoundly disappointed and angry with representatives in Congress—Democrats as well as Republicans—who refused to support health care for the unemployed and job-saving critical aid to cash-strapped states in the original version of H.R. 4213. Working family voters will not forget who sided with them and who did not. "

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