Today, Sen. Reid has scheduled a cloture vote on his "jobs package." Taking virtually everyone by surprise before the President’s Day recess, Sen. Reid had pulled a bipartisan proposal at the last minute and replaced it with his package. The Center for Fiscal Accountability informed Members of the Senate of our intentions to rate the bill in our annual Congressional ratings.
From our vote alert:
The Center for Fiscal Accountability urges all Members of the U.S. Senate to vote “No” on Sen. Reid’s $15 billion “jobs package.” After weeks of talk about openness and bipartisanship, Senator Reid opted against exactly that and scrapped the initial jobs package, scheduled a cloture vote without allowing for debate or amendments.
Both the surface transportation reauthorization and the Build America bonds have less to do with job creation than with misguided priorities and handouts to labor unions and local governments. The extension Build America bonds will leave taxpayers to pay the tab for decades-long interest buy-down, while the extension of the expiring highway funding authorization disregards the underlying problems with financing transportation programs.
Extensions would not be necessary if transportation spending wasn’t riddled with waste and fraud – however SAFETEA-LU funded over $20 billion worth of earmarks. Beyond that, however, the package authorizes a one-time transfer of $19.5 billion from the general fund to the highway trust fund, and permanently increases the authorization level by modifying past rescissions of highway authority. Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirement imposed on surface transportation projects further unnecessarily inflate the burden borne by taxpayers.
What’s worse, while some tax cut provisions are excluded, the package amounts to a net tax increase overall.
Taxpayers deserve better – vote “No” on Sen. Reid’s “jobs package”!
Click here for a pdf version of our alert.