"We expect [Republicans] to be opposed," [Rep. Keith] Ellison said at a press conference. "But we've got faith in the American people to rise up and demand that Congress pass a jobs bill. So we're fundamentally optimistic, but we're also realistic. ... We do expect the American people are going to bring pressure to bear."
Congressional Progressive Caucus members said it would be wrong to "cut the baby in half" and pass only parts of the Obama jobs plan, even though they do not support every aspect of the bill.
But they're also pushing for more—and more is desperately needed when it comes to jobs creation and to pressure from the left to counterbalance even a fraction of the Republican party's extremism.
The CPC's Rebuild the American Dream Framework "outlines six areas of focus for immediate and long term job creation: Make it in America Again, Rebuild America, Lead the Green Industrial Revolution, Jobs for the Next Generation, Not Just Jobs—Good Jobs, and Fair Taxes—Shared Sacrifice." These are broad principles, but ones that translate directly to specific proposals:
The framework includes a $227 billion jobs bill sponsored by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) that aims to create 2.2 million jobs through funding for school improvement, police and firefighter services, local healthcare providers, the Early Head Start program and park-improvement services.
Schakowsky’s proposal would be funded by separate legislation, also sponsored by her, that raises taxes on millionaires and billionaires. Her legislation would also cut subsidies for major oil companies and close tax loopholes for corporations that hire employees outside the United States.
No, it won't pass in this Congress. But it lays the groundwork for better policy and politics, giving voters and constituents another vision for what a responsible jobs policy could look like, demonstrating that as good as many of President Obama's proposals are, they aren't the ceiling on what could be done to benefit America's workers and economy.