Washington, D.C.– Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva, Barbara Lee and John Conyers today introduced the Prioritize Emergency Job Creation Act, which allows for emergency job creation appropriations currently blocked by federal budget laws.
The recently passed Budget Control Act (BCA) established caps on how much money can be spent through the annual appropriations process, but exempts military activities in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Prioritize Emergency Job Creation Act amends the BCA to exempt appropriations for emergency job creation.
The three members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), of which Grijalva is co-chair, have been outspoken critics of our seemingly never-ending military actions, which have now cost more than $1.2 trillion. They and other CPC members spent all summer traveling the country listening to the American people speak about the needs for jobsas part of the Speakout for Good Jobs Now Tour. The CPC introduced its jobs platform and several pieces of legislation today at a press conference in Washington, D.C. – video of that event is available at http://bit.ly/o5GyDU.
“Progressives have been saying all year that our number one priority has to be job creation, and this common-sense bill makes sure Congress can make that happen without delay,” Grijalva said. “For too longthe House majority has talked about cuts, austerity, pain and what we can’t accomplish. They’ve overlooked the best way to address the deficit: putting 14 million Americans back to work. A true economic recovery means creating desperately needed jobs to fuel demand. We need to get rid of artificial job creation restrictions at a time of historic unemployment, and that’s what this bill is about.”
“Our job crisis is a national emergency and requires an immediate and bold response,” Rep. Lee said. “There is a level of despair and struggle that I have never seen before. Leaders in Washington have spent too much time and energy focused on deficit reduction and playing political games, and now is the time to create jobs. We should end the wars and cut back on bloated Pentagon spending – and invest that savings in a robust jobs plans to get our nation back to work.”
“It’s incomprehensible that the spending caps in the recently passed debt deal provide a broad exemption for new war funding, but would prevent Congress from passing an emergency jobs package to put America back to work,” Rep. Conyers said. “The Prioritize Emergency Job Creation Act will remedy this injustice and ensure that short-sighted spending caps won’t keep us from creating good jobs in hard-hit communities like Detroit. The American people want jobs now and this bill will help President Obama and Congress deliver them.”