U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack will hold a news conference in eastern Iowa early this afternoon to tout the president’s jobs bill. It’s part of the Obama Administration’s full-court press to get congress to take up the legislation.
“The American Jobs Act is a bill designed that obviously is designed to get Americans back to work and I think everybody in Iowa and across the country understands the importance of getting folks back to work, but for Iowa, specifically, there are a couple of provisions that I think are important. First, there’s the notion of improving America’s infrastructure,” Vilsack says. “I don’t think anybody in Iowa disagrees with the need for us to continue to improve our roads, our bridges, our rail systems because that’s how we get product to market more effectively and more efficiently.”
According to information from the U.S.D.A., about 5000 construction workers would be hired to build roads, bridges and other “critical infrastructure” in Iowa if the bill is passed. The bill also includes money to provide jobs to more than 4000 first responders and teachers, according to Vilsack’s agency.
“Iowa is a state that values education and to the extent that we can have resources to keep teachers in the classroom and to modernize classrooms across the country and across the state, obviously Iowans are going to be favorably inclined to that,” Vilsack says.
According to information released by both the White House and the U.S.D.A., the “typical household” in Iowa would get a nearly $1600 tax cut if congress passes the president’s bill. The Obama Administration also estimated over 60,000 business owners in Iowa would get a tax cut as well.
“I think folks will like the notion that small businesses get tax relief under the American Jobs Act,” Vilsack says. “We’re a state of small businesses. When you cut the payroll tax in half, you put more money in the pockets of those small business owners, makes them a little more confident about hiring additional folks.”
Businesses that hire soldiers who’ve returned from duty in Iraq or Afghanistan would get a tax break, too, under the plan. Vilsack says the last thing returning veterans should have to suffer through is unemployment.
“So the American Jobs Act is something that I think plays to many strengths of Iowa and the values of Iowa,” Vilsack says. “And, finally, the president has proposed doing it without adding a cent to the deficit and I think that is also important.”
Vilsack will speak at one o’clock today at a news conference in Riverside, Iowa. On Saturday morning at 11:30, Vilsack is hold a news conference in Cedar Rapids to discuss what happened at the White House Business Council Meeting.
Republicans in congress have accused President Obama of being a “campaigner-in-chief” as he’s pressed for passage of the jobs bill. The GOP opposes the tax hikes on wealthy Americans that are included in the proposal.