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Mar.22 - Chambliss and Isakson Vote Against Jobs Bill in Senate

Barrow Supports, Kingston Opposes Bill in the House

By Lou Phelps

The U.S. Senate passed the new federal jobs bill on Wednesday, but without the support of Senators Saxby Chambliss or Johnny Isakson of Georgia.  The vote garnered the support of a number of Republican Senators and passed by 68 to 29.

The bill calls for giving employers an exemption from payroll taxes through the end of 2010 if they hire workers who have been unemployed for at least 60 days.

According to the New York Times, now that the Democratic leadership has this victory, they “intend to push ahead with renewing more than $30 billion in corporate tax breaks and providing additional help to small businesses,” the newspaper reports.

Tacked on to the bill was $20 billion in Federal roads and highway funds, long awaited by many states, including Georgia.

In the House, Congressman John Barrow (D) voted to support the House version of the bill, entitled “Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act” which “will provide tax cuts and incentives to create jobs and strengthen our economy,” according to Barrow.

"Getting Georgians back to work is my top priority," said Barrow.  "This is going to create hundreds of thousands of jobs this year, and it's fully paid for.  That's important, because we shouldn't make our kids foot the bill in the future for what we're trying to fix right now"

The HIRE Act is projected to create 300,000 jobs, and has provisions intended to make it easier for states to take up infrastructure projects such as school construction and energy retrofitting, as well as an extension of the Highway Trust Fund that allows for billions of dollars in infrastructure development around the country.

"We need to get as many Americans back to work as quickly as possible. And we need to do it in a way that gives working families a chance to succeed again. This is a step in the right direction,” stated Barrow.

Congressman Jack Kingston (R) voted against the final bill in the House, said he did so because, “it’s time to get Washington out of the way in order to create jobs. “At some point we are going to figure out the federal government doesn't have the solution for everything,” said Kingston.

“We’ve been down this road before – from bailing out AIG and Bear Stearns to propping up Freddie and Fannie and an $867 billion stimulus package, the government can’t spend our economy back on its feet.

“Instead, we’ve got to quit spending to restore confidence in our fiscal future.  We should free community banks from unnecessary and overbearing regulations which freeze lending and cause the small business credit crunch.  Finally, we need to get out of the Big Government-Big Business legislative model so small business can compete,” he said, as his solution to create jobs.

He said that the bill passed by the Senate “is comprised primarily of a wage-subsidy system first employed during the presidency of Jimmy Carter.  Employers would receive a tax credit to hire workers who have been unemployed for at least two months.  If the worker remained on the books for a year, the employer would receive an additional tax credit.”

“If you couldn’t afford to hire a worker before this legislation, that isn’t going to change,” Congressman Kingston said.  “To create jobs, we’ve got to get customers walking in the door,” he added, but offered no specific solutions on how to do this.
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