Tonight, President Obama unveiled the “American Jobs Act” – a proposal that will put Americans back to work immediately.
The set of ideas proposed in the American Jobs Act have bipartisan support – from cutting the payroll tax cut in half for 98 percent of businesses, to preventing 280,000 layoffs of teachers and first responders, to allowing more Americans to refinance their mortgages at today’s near 4 percent interest rates, which can put more than $2.000 a year in a family ‘s pocket.
To ensure that the American Jobs Act is fully paid for, the President is calling for increasing the Joint Committee deficit reduction total by more than the cost of this plan.
One of most innovative components of the American Jobs Act is a new “Project Rebuild” – which, if enacted by Congress, will put people to work rehabilitating homes, businesses and communities, leveraging private capital and other public-private collaborations.
Project Rebuild will create nearly 200,000 jobs, and at the same time stabilizing home prices in neighborhoods hard hit by foreclosures.
Already, existing neighborhood stabilization efforts enacted by Congress over the last three years since the housing crisis began have created nearly 100,000 jobs and addressed nearly 45,000 vacant and abandoned properties.
These efforts have made a difference from Brooklyn Park, Minnesota to the La Puente suburb outside Los Angeles.
In Hernando County, Florida, they’ve not only helped families like Sandy and Socorro Beiro move in to once-foreclosed homes in hard-hit places.
Just as importantly, they’ve provided a boost to hard-hit industries, helping builders like Dudley Hampton keep construction workers on the job and giving real estate agents like Jackie King the opportunity to show and sell homes once again.
Project Rebuild would build on this success with a few important innovations based on lessons learned: for example, by encouraging more private sector participation and allowing the rehabilitation of commercial properties, while forging stronger partnerships with non-profit organizations.
Project Rebuild is fundamentally an investment not just in hard hit places but also in the families who have watched their home values plummet on average by $5,000-to-$10,000 simply because they live on a block with a foreclosure sign. Its inclusion in the American Jobs Act reflects President Obama’s belief that rebuilding neighborhoods is essential to rebuilding our economy.
The American people know that the economic crisis and the deep recession weren’t created overnight – and they won’t be solved overnight either.
But with bipartisan, innovative solutions like Project Rebuild, the American Jobs Act is something that Congress can do to create more jobs and put more money in people’s pockets right now. That’s what President Obama is proposing to do – and that’s what it will take to get our economy moving again.