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Rep. George Miller introduces jobs bill

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Friday, August 26th, 2011 at 9:38 am in 2012 Congressional Election, Congress, George Miller.

Rep. George Miller

Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, introduced today a jobs bill that would funnel federal dollars into local governments and nonprofits and allow the rehiring of laid-off workers.

Read about the Local Jobs for America Act at his web site here.

It includes two years worth of money to rehire or retain teachers, police officers and firefighters. It also pays for on-the-job training positions in the private sector.

The subject matter fits Miller, the ranking Democrat on the House Education and Workforce Committee.

But jobs and job creation has become the top theme coming out of many Democrats’ offices as persistent unemployment continues to plague the country and threaten the party’s hopes for retaking the House of Representatives and re-electing President Barack Obama.

Miller isn’t too worried about his own re-election prospects even though he will have new district boundaries per the maps adopted earlier this month by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.

The veteran lawmaker is running in the reconstituted 11th Congressional District, which consists entirely of Contra Costa County communities stretching from Richmond eastward to Pittsburg and south into the San Ramon Valley. His old 7th District included portions of Solano County and none of the San Ramon Valley towns.  Democrats have a smaller but still very significant party registration edge in Miller’s new district — 24 percentage points in the 11th vs. 35 in the 7th.

Miller’s press release follows.

Miller Announces Jobs Plan

Legislation Will Create and Save Public and Private Sector Jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With families and local communities struggling especially hard in this economy, U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA), the senior Democrat on the Education and the Workforce Committee, introduced a jobs bill today. The bill, Local Jobs for America Act, will save and create jobs quickly in both the public and private sectors and help restore vital services that families and local communities rely on. It is similar to legislation Miller introduced last year with the support of hundreds of organizations across the country.

“Job losses in communities across the country are a threat to our economic stability. Communities are being forced to choose between raising taxes to continue their vital services or letting go of vital employees. Families, similarly, are experiencing these dangerous cuts in the form of fewer teachers and fewer police officers. Families shouldn’t have to worry about their children losing a year of learning or about their safety being compromised, on top of everything else they’re dealing with in this economy. This bill will quickly create local jobs that we can count – and jobs that we can count on.”

“Republicans in Congress have yet to outline a jobs plan. Instead, they have shown time and time again that they would rather kill jobs in America if their extreme and ideological demands are not met,” Miller continued. “Republicans’ inability to compromise is the biggest threat to Americans jobs right now. This legislation outlines a jobs plan that every Member of Congress should be proud to support.”

Statistics show that while the demand for services provided by state and local governments has increased, the number of people employed in these offices has fallen by over 400,000 since August 2008. In April, May and June of this year, communities averaged a loss of 23,000 jobs a month.

The bill will provide an investment over two years to local communities to hold off planned cuts or to hire back workers for local services who have been laid-off because of tight budgets. Funding would go directly to eligible local communities and nonprofit community organizations to decide how best to use the funds.

The Local Jobs for America Act will also fund approximately 50,000 additional private-sector on-the-job training positions to help businesses put people back to work. Workers will be able to acquire core job skills and important work experience for private employers.

The bill also includes $24 billion to help states support 250,000 education jobs, put 5,500 law enforcement officers on the beat, and retain, rehire, and hire firefighters.

For more information on The Local Jobs for America Act, click here.

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  • Elwood

    George’s bill will sail through the Republican controlled house like a lead balloon in the punch bowl!

    In the highly unlikely event that George’s dimmiecrat wet dream bill should become law, does George plan to print the money himself?

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    GM should ask Ron Paul to co-sponsor his bill.

  • Allen Payton

    That’s not a jobs bill. That’s a keep local gov’t workers employed bill and bail out local gov’ts who keep paying unaffordable salaries and unsustainable pensions, instead of requiring them to tighten their belts like the rest of us bill. This of course comes from a man elected to Congress two years out of law school, who never created a job in the private sector and really doesn’t understand how to do so. Just like the “stimulus” which spent a lot of the money on keeping local gov’t workers employed for another year didn’t stimulate the economy and instead we got an increase in unemployment and merely kicked the can down the road for our county gov’t to make the tough compensation decisions, George’s bill won’t work either. Of course, as Elwood pointed out, it’s not going to pass the House anyway. But he’ll look like he’s doing something when it comes to his reelection next year in a very different district than he currently represents.

  • John W

    I’m not for a jobs bill that focuses on public sector jobs. However, I am for one that repairs and improves roads, bridges, tunnels and aging pipelines. Like the Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore project, it would create good private sector jobs and have a healthy balance sheet effect, in that spending would be matched by long-term durable assets that increase productivity and will only cost more to do later. In fact, if we offset all or part of the spending with some tax hikes, the value of the deficits would exceed the net cost of the projects. The problem with trying to deal with the deficits just by reducing spending in a dead economy is that the economy further contracts and results in even greater deficits. We can’t fix this economy with either a simplistic “cut everything” approach or with loosey-goosey spending.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    Job creation by the Feds funded by tax increases. Why Dr Keynes would be darn proud! Trouble is, this ain’t 1933. There isn’t a whole lotta investment capital out there that will rush into infrastructure projects. Sure the roads need work, but we don’t have an army of unskilled or semiskilled workers eager to grab shovels. Unemployed programmers won’t be much help filling potholes. As for finance, lowering the threshold for “wealthy” is a joke. Let’s punish the successful and even the marginally successful, the lucky folks who still hold good jobs and people who still have some extra cash. Capitalists are criminals–the greater the wealth, the greater the crimes committed. Right?

  • Elwood

    The criminals are any one who has a job or is not dependent on a government check.

  • lars54

    Teachers, cops, and firefighters get a lot of of attention from politicians already. This cohort of public sector workers are extremely well paid, have great benefit packages, and over-the-top job security – they have property right to their jobs, they can’t get fired normally. The rest of US workers aren’t doing so hot these days, the typical US worker has zero job security, no pension, often no health care, and wages have been flat. I’d like to see George Miller pay more attention to the US workers who really need the help, and maybe less attention to the segment of workers who have been cleaning up in the modern economy, like Fire fighters, cops, professors, and nurses.

  • For Liberty

    Apparently, Mr. Miller must have been absent from school when his teachers showed the following film (see the link below):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgXdbtJ13oc

    Maybe this short film should be played at a session for all of our politicians.

  • Truthclubber

    Apparently “For Libertine” must have been absent from Sunday School the day they covered the lessons of “what would Jesus do?”, or “I am my brother’s keeper” — pesky “community-building” ideas that get in the way of individual empire building (and tossing the poor and misfortunate out with yesterday’s trash).

    Our motto is “E Pluribus Unum” for a reason, you jackboot fascist thug — it’s called U.N.I.T.Y. (as in Common Unity — aka Community).

  • Elwood

    For Liberty, pay no attention to toothsucker.

    He is completely insane. I’m sure he masturbates frantically while posting his insane rants.

    You read one, you’ve read them all, by the way. They’re all the same. Anyone who doesn’t subscribe to his unique brand of insanity is a fascist.

  • John W

    Re: #5

    RR, not sure I get your thinking. There’s an unprecedented amount of investment capital out there, just not the demand to warrant deploying it. I think the current situation is unfortunately very much like 1933 and 1937. The idea is to kickstart demand. Nobody is talking about having unemployed programmers do roads, bridges, tunnels, pipelines and airports. There are plenty of unemployed civil engineers and workers with the requisite skillsets for that. Put them to work in good private employer jobs, and, with luck, the ripple effect starts to kick in. We’re stuck in the mud now because all those who loaded up on credit card debt and home equity fools gold are trying to unwind debt instead of spending. Like ‘em or not, public sector workers historically have been a stabilizing force in a down economy. Now, with layoffs, furoughs, paycuts and their own debt workout issues, that stabilization isn’t there. Same for people on fixed incomes. Usually consistent spenders no matter what the overall economy looks like. But not now, when they get zero yield on their money. All that on top of the fact that, other than real estate bubble jobs, we haven’t had private sector job growth since 1999, partly due to globalization and the fact that our “information economy” is not as labor intensive as a manufacturing economy. If we can kickstart things, nobody benefits more than businesses. We can “do nothing” and just cut spending. But my prediction is that just guarantees a deep second dip and even bigger deficits, no matter how much we cut. Yes, that’s Keynesian thinking. I’m not feeling much “Austrian” love right now.

  • http://www.halfwaytoconcord.com BGR

    I can’t bemoan any effort to get people back to work. Yet hairdressers, clerks, technicians, and salespeople are just as deserving of assistance if not more than public sector workers as we’ve already tried that with the first stimulus. I’d rather see an approcah that, in the words of president Obama, is more balanced.

  • John W

    Re #12

    The way to put the people you listed back to work is to get them more customers. If we get a million or so people in good-paying private employer jobs doing infrastructure, they become those customers. My barber’s customers will go back to getting haircuts monthly rather than every other month. Not only that, the spending results in high value public assets that (a) we all use, and (b) we have to invest in now or later anyway. Considering the alternatives, what’s not to like?

  • Publius

    Re #13

    The way to get people back to work is to unleash the spirit of the individual and make government accountable for the money it spends. It does nobody good to borrow money to create a temporary job. Government waste has to be controlled, and job stifling regulations have to be rolled back. I know it is hard to for some to believe, but the New Deal did not work. When the government spends our money , political motivations dictate where and how that money is spent. The vast govt. bureacracy combined with political motives inflate the cost of all public projects and the bang for the buck is gone. Only in the private sector can you get true value and raise revenue. Government is not the way out.

  • John W

    Re #14

    The only point I’d make is that, when it comes to transportation infrastructure (roads, bridges, tunnels etc.), the private sector does the building, but the money has always come from government. But I do agree there is always risk of waste and abuse. And, you are right, it is hard for some of us to believe the New Deal did not work. It was doing pretty well up until 1937, reducing unemployment from 25% to 15%. Then they got concerned about deficits and put the brakes on. After that, we had to wait for the WW2 stimulus package.

    Speaking of waste, I heard Gene Burns on KGO tonight talking about an article in one of the foreign affairs journals, talking about China’s role in the Bay Bridge project. Having China do its part of the bridge work supposedly saved $400 million. Of course, it also screwed our economy out of billions of economic activity and gave it to China instead. Penny wise and pound foolish.

  • http://www.halfwaytoconcord.com BGR

    Thanks for the comments from both side. It will be interesting to see how much of Miller’s jobs plan becomes most of Obama’s jobs plan Sept 7. Maybe same only 8x?

    At the end of the day government workers spending their salaries in the community is helpful but does not come close to the investment, literally putting capital and expertise to work, that the U.S. Sure govertnment funding infrastructure and hwys (but lord not a bullet train) can create jobs, but so can tax and regulatory policy. Let’s see real balance and not just another hand out to governments just before an election dressed up as stimulus.