Where Are the Jobs?
The 112th Congress has passed 25 roll call votes. This is the result of its taking care of the people’s business: 7 bills have become public law, 9 bills are destined for veto and the balance faces Senate opposition. Speaking of the Democratic controlled Senate, 4 of those veto destined bills have been referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and the balance are probably destined to failure. So, where are the jobs pledged?
Let’s start with the legislation that has become public law. Bills on defense, Republicans never say “No” to the Department of Defense. There are lots of jobs in the armed services, but that’s not new. Roads will continue to be built and small business gets to save a lot of paper. There are continuing appropriations because bills must still be paid until a some kind of budget is enacted. But there are no new jobs in any of that.
The extension of the Patriot Act is contentious because it comes up for vote again. Key parts of the Patriot Act are set to expire on May 27th. The Senate promised a real debate on this Bush Administration brain-child, but clearly that isn’t going to happen. The ACLU opposes its abridgment of the 4th Amendment, part of the Bill of Rights which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, along with requiring any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. But they guy listening to your phone calls could have told you that.
The Banking Committee is looking at bills aimed at existing legislation and none is likely to pass. There is a Refinance bill to eliminate the Federal Housing Administration’s recently implemented short refinancing program. The White House has threatened to veto the measure should it pass the Senate. The Treasury’s Emergency Mortgage Relief Program, aimed at helping 3 to 4 million people by modifying at-risk mortgage loans, is a target. The HAMP Act [Home Affordable Modification Program], part of the TARP [Troubled Asset Relief Program] created by the Bush administration is a target and the administration has already said it will veto that bill. So far, however, there are no jobs offered in any of that business.Continued on the next page