Blumenthal Introduces Legislation to Create Bipartisan Jobs Committee

(Washington, DC) – Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) today introduced legislation that would create a Joint Select Committee on Job Creation in the United States Senate, helping to ensure that job creation is at the top of the Senate’s agenda. The bipartisan committee would be tasked with making recommendations on how to create jobs, foster economic growth, and reduce the high unemployment rate. Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Mark Begich (D-AK), and Joe Manchin (D-WV) are original cosponsors of the legislation. Representative John Larson (D-CT, 1st District) has introduced similar legislation in the House of Representatives. The Joint Select Committee on Job Creation would be structured similarly to the Deficit Committee recently established by Congress. 

Blumenthal said, “Americans from all walks of life have long realized that the best way to shrink our deficit and put our economy back on track is to help hard-working Americans find good-paying jobs – we must put America back to work. Congress has failed to act with any sense of urgency to address the unacceptably high unemployment rate. This legislation would help ensure that job creation is at the top of the Senate’s agenda, and that Congress is focused on the critically important tasks of encouraging economic growth and creating jobs, and will help break through the legislative logjam.”  

The Select Committee on Job Creation would be structured similarly to the Deficit Committee, comprised of 12 members, 6 each from the House and the Senate, with a breakdown of 6 Democratic members and 6 Republicans.

Blumenthal reiterated his call for support from colleagues, following up on a letter sent last month encouraging support for the legislation.

The full text of the letter follows:

September 6, 2011

Dear Colleague:

As Congress and our country consider how best to confront the deficit and our lagging economy, now is the time to focus on our shared, bipartisan priority: creating new jobs.  

Americans from all walks of life have long realized that the best way to shrink our deficit and get our economy back on track is to help hard-working Americans find good-paying jobs. In short, we must put America back to work. Yet Congress has failed to act with any sense of urgency to address the unacceptably high unemployment rate.   

Nearly 14 million Americans are unemployed – and more than six million have been without work for longer than six months – putting a strain on cash-strapped states and increasing reliance on important safety net programs like Medicaid. For too many families, the lack of job security means they cannot afford to stay in their homes – or are forced to choose between buying essentials like food and clothing, paying their children’s college tuition, or paying their mortgage. Older workers are pushed into retirement without sufficient savings or the means to pay for long-term care.  

Creating new jobs would allow millions of American workers to become self-sufficient, and would save billions of dollars in spending on programs like unemployment insurance and food stamps. 

I intend to introduce legislation later this week that would help put job creation at the top of Congress’s agenda. This legislation, modeled after a proposal that will be introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman John Larson, would establish a Joint Select Committee on Job Creation. This Joint Select Committee would be structured similarly to the Deficit Committee recently established by Congress, and would be responsible for making recommendations on how to reduce America’s unemployment rate. 

Congress has acted to address the rising deficits and debt that threaten our economic recovery. Now Congress should also act, responsibly and effectively, to address the pervasive and pernicious problems that just as seriously imperil our economic future and social fabric. 

                                                                                              Sincerely,

                                                                                              Richard Blumenthal

                                                                                              United States Senate

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