Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) tried to get the Senate to consider another component of the American Jobs Act. The Rebuild America Jobs Act would create hundreds of thousands of jobs by investing $50 billion to repair and upgrade our highways, bridges, rail systems and airports, with $50 million dedicated to enhancing access to those job opportunities for women, people of color, and disadvantaged individuals. It would also provide $10 billion for a National Infrastructure Bank to finance additional improvements in water, energy and transportation infrastructure. It would be fully paid for by a surtax of 0.1 percent on income above $1 million.
But – as you’ve probably guessed – it was filibustered, just like the comprehensive American Jobs Act and another of its components, the Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act. All Senate Republicans, joined by one Democrat, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) and one Independent, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), voted to block the Senate from even beginning to debate the bill.
As I write this, I’m waiting for the employment numbers for October from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. I don’t know exactly what they’ll show—except that millions of women and men will still be looking for work, many for six months or more. When will the Senators who are blocking these measures stop protecting millionaires and billionaires and start creating jobs?