Right now, Harry Reid is being a major Grinch – taking House-passed jobs bills and letting them pile up on his desk. Or hiding them away in his anti-Christmas cave.
But in the spirit of Christmas in July, we’ve created a wish list of bills that would not only strengthen our economy, but create thousands of jobs. Thousands!
There are dozens of bills Majority Leader Reid could bring to the Senate floor, but here’s a wishlist of five we’d really, really like to see passed. And we’re not alone – Americans would like to see these bills passed, too.
1. The Keystone XL Pipeline
This project is at the top of our wishlist. Not only would the oil pipeline from Canada to Texas create more than 42,000 direct and indirect jobs nationwide – it would reduce American dependency on foreign oil by hundreds of thousands of barrels. And we aren’t alone – 61% of Americans support building this wishlist item.
2. The SKILLS Act
This one has been on our list since March 2013 – but we’re remaining hopeful that Sen. Reid will deliver this under the tree. The SKILLS Act is the ultimate gift: it’s got specialized job training programs for good-paying jobs like nursing and computer specialists, and creates individualized programs for older Americans, seasonal farm workers, and veterans. The SKILLS Act also eliminates existing, inefficient, duplicative workforce programs and saves money and time, by creating one worker-centered job training system. It would help Americans all across this country – immediately.
3. Achieving Less Excess in Regulation and Requiring Transparency Act of 2014 – ALERRT Act (H.R. 2804 )
Small businesses (the creators of almost 60 million jobs and over 25 million companies) are the foundation of America’s economy. This wish list item is for them. Regulatory costs for small businesses are 36% higher than the costs of large businesses. The ALERRT Act requires agencies to consider small businesses when they write regulations – aiming for minimal cost and regulation for these essential small businesses. Less regulation will allow small firms to expand their businesses, hire more workers, and pump resources into the American economy. It’s a win-win.
4. The Pathway to Job Creation through a Simpler, Fairer Tax Code Act of 2012 (H.R. 6169)
One thing Senate Democrats and President Obama have given us is a lot of red tape – which is a lot like getting coal in your stocking. H.R. 6169 would get unnecessary government regulation out of the way, allowing businesses and American tax payers to flourish – paying lower taxes and putting more money back into the economy. Right now, our tax code is taking Christmas presents away from people all across the country – leaving unhappy and financially stressed Americans. That doesn’t make a merry holiday for anyone!
5. Veterans Opportunity to Work Act (H.R. 2433)
The unemployment rate for recent veterans is incredibly high. About 2.8 million Americans have served in uniform since 9/11, but an estimated 200,000 are unemployed. The gift of a job is life-changing – but Senate Democrats are being stingy (again). H.R. 2433 builds job training programs for recent veterans, and then pairs them with good-paying, high-quality jobs. Our veterans have given their all – they deserve the best possible gift this July and all year ’round.
The opportunities created by a good-paying job are greater than anything that could be on a Christmas wishlist. Americans are waiting for the Senate to take action and put our country back to work with a stronger economy and greater job opportunities.
We’ve passed dozens of bills that will create job opportunities and help make life better for thousands of Americans. Right now, our wish list of House-passed bills is sitting on Harry Reid’s desk – but who knows, perhaps in the spirit of the season, even his heart will grow three sizes.