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Obama Jobs Plan: Congressional Progressive Caucus Asks President To Consider Two Proposals

Progressive Caucus Letter

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 09/01/11 06:28 PM ET Updated: 11/01/11 06:12 AM ET

The co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus issued a letter to President Barack Obama Thursday, asking him to consider two proposals as he prepares his new jobs plan, which he is set to unveil in a speech to a joint session of Congress next week.

Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) co-signed the letter, which asks Obama to consider enacting emergency jobs legislation and creating a National Infrastructure Development Bank:

Washington needs to invest in the country’s future by enacting significant emergency jobs legislation to put Americans back to work now. There is no shortage of work to be done in America, and no shortage of workers to do it. Young Americans in particular are facing a bleak economic reality. Many of them have mountains of college debt and no prospects for employment. We are squandering the talent, energy and hopes of a generation. We urge the Administration to make a good American job a reality for every young person.

In addition to addressing the immediate unemployment crisis, it’s also time to invest in long-term opportunities that create jobs and rebuild America. One option with broad support is creating a National Infrastructure Development Bank. The country’s infrastructure needs an estimated investment of $2.2 trillion. We should not delay these crucial investments, especially while millions of Americans are out of work. Rebuilding America -- without creating expensive new corporate tax loopholes -- will further boost our economy and create badly needed jobs.

The two proposals were chosen based on recent legislative efforts that would specifically spur hiring, according to Brad Bauman, executive director of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Though the Obama administration has yet to officially release details on what the jobs speech will entail, the Office of Management and Budget's mid-session review of the current economic climate gave a general description, HuffPost's Sam Stein reports.

The review says the package "could include a mix of tax cuts to create jobs and provide economic security to the middle class, innovative infrastructure ideas to put people back to work, and some measures specifically targeted at the long-term unemployed and other specific sectors of the economy that are in particular need."

This is not the first time progressives have reached out to Obama regarding his upcoming jobs speech. The caucus' letter comes one day after 67 major progressive organizations penned a letter to Obama asking him to "go big" with his jobs plan.

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