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Congressional Insiders Poll: Jobs Bill Components and Disaster Aid Congressional Insiders Poll: Jobs Bill Components and Disaster Aid

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Magazine / Congressional Insiders Poll: Jobs Bill Components and Disaster Aid

Congressional Insiders Poll: Jobs Bill Components and Disaster Aid

September 15, 2011

Which of these components of President Obama’s jobs package would you consider supporting as legislation?

Democrats (29 Votes) 

Extending and expanding payroll-tax cuts: 62%

Investing in infrastructure, transportation improvements, and school modernization: 97%

 

Investing in the hiring and retention of education and first-responder jobs: 76%

Ratifying trade deals with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea: 24%

Extending unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed: 79%

 

Payroll-tax cuts

“Payroll-tax cuts have the potential to weaken Social Security, and they open the program to Republican attacks on its solvency.”

“[Extending and expanding payroll-tax cuts is] just a political gimmick with little real economic benefit and [it risks] seriously underfunding Social Security in the long term.”

Infrastructure spending

“[Infrastructure investment] is the best job creator and offers the most political protection, because the work and jobs can be seen and measured.”

Education, first-responder jobs

“I think a job saved is the same as a job created, but the tea party thinks that government jobs do not count, somehow.”

Trade deals

“Yes on the trade deals, as long as their ratification is accompanied by a companion Trade Adjustment Assistance bill.”

“When are we going to learn that our modern approach to trade creates jobs in other countries, not America?”

“We should let the president lead and adopt his package except for the trade deal with Colombia, where they are murdering labor leaders.”

Unemployment benefits

“Maybe, but only if there are serious oversight measures adopted to ensure that people are truly looking for work.”

Other comments

“The American people need a strong dosage of confidence, and Congress can help to restore it by acting together [on the entire deal].”

 

Which of these components of President Obama’s jobs package would you consider supporting as legislation?

Republicans (29 Votes)

Extending and expanding payroll-tax cuts: 29%

Investing in infrastructure, transportation improvements, and school modernization: 32%

Investing in the hiring and retention of education and first-responder jobs: 0%

Ratifying trade deals with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea: 89%

Extending unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed: 7%

 

Payroll-tax cuts

“I still haven’t met a tax cut I didn’t like. Everything else is a rehash of the failed stimulus.”

Infrastructure spending

“Too bad the stimulus was supposed to be 50 percent [infrastructure] and ended up being only 7; then President Obama nixed the transportation reauthorization because he was busy with ‘Obamacare.’ Finally wising up, but now we are broke.”

“There is talk of increasing offshore drilling and using the revenue to pay for infrastructure. This will allow for lower gas prices, job creation, and better roads.”

“Building local schools and paying the tab for teachers and first responders are primarily state and local functions. The federal government cannot keep financing such activities. These are nonstarters.”

Trade deals

“These trade deals have been sitting on his plate for years. And this is the guy that wanted to double our exports?”

“This is a bipartisan jobs win for the president that tells the world America is back on the trade field. Send them up!”

“Nothing else.”

Other comments

“Frankly, the president’s proposal looks more and more like a campaign ploy and less and less like a serious effort to find common ground. Obama appears to be setting up Republicans to take the blame for the state of the economy rather than actually trying to pass a bill.”

“We should be focused on pro-growth policies that will help jump-start private-sector job creation, not more ‘stimulus’ that has failed in the past.”

 

Do you believe that any federal disaster aid allocated by Congress must be offset by spending cuts elsewhere in the budget?

Democrats (29 votes)

Yes: 3%
No: 97%

Yes

“[They should be offset] out of Department of Defense contractor excess payments.”

No

“It’s not ideal, but we simply can’t leave people hanging at a time like this.”

“This is why the emergency designation exists. To hold aid hostage to another budget fight would be unconscionable.”

“No, that is dumb. We pay for emergencies all of the time. Why is this different? This cut, cut, cut the budget is getting out of hand.”

“It’s always better to pay for the actions we take, but in the case of suffering Americans, we shouldn’t let political posturing delay the aid and support we are obligated to deliver.”

“We have no problem sending billions in ‘emergency funding’ to fight unwinnable wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, with no offsets whatsoever. Why can’t we do the same for our own needy Americans who have had their homes, farms, and businesses completely destroyed by flooding?”

“Not until Eric Cantor can accurately predict the next major earthquake.”

“We’ve never done that.”

“Are you kidding?”

 

Do you believe that any federal disaster aid allocated by Congress must be offset by spending cuts elsewhere in the budget?

Republicans (29 votes)

Yes: 10%
No: 86%

Yes

“Endless borrowing will lead to a disaster.”

“Congress has been gaming the ‘emergency’ bills for too long. Time to budget—and pay—for them.”

“We cannot afford to treat any new Washington spending differently with respect to offsetting its cost with corresponding budget cuts.”

“Americans affected by these natural disasters will get the assistance they need, and Congress will do so in a fiscally responsible way.”

“We should budget it as contingency spending and, if that’s not enough, cut elsewhere. That is what families do.”

“Remember the work of the late U.S. Sen. Paul Coverdell, R-Ga., on this issue—we know every year that we will have massive natural disasters and can easily budget from past expenditures.”

“Disaster relief certainly ought to take priority over other spending. There are many available offsets. One suggestion: Use the funds beyond the Ryan budget that were negotiated in the debt-ceiling compromise.”

“Our national debt does not distinguish.”

No

“There needs to be a rainy-day fund.”

“We have to fund unanticipated off-budget disaster relief but must distinguish between true disasters and ‘political emergencies.’ ”

________________________

Democratic Congressional Insiders Sens. Sherrod Brown, Ben Cardin, Thomas Carper, Christopher A. Coons, Mark Pryor, Tom Udall; Reps. Jason Altmire, Robert Andrews, Tammy Baldwin, Karen Bass, Xavier Becerra, Howard Berman, Lois Capps, Michael Capuano, Dennis Cardoza, James Clyburn, Gerry Connolly, Joseph Crowley, Diana DeGette, Rosa DeLauro, Anna Eshoo, Sam Farr, Chaka Fattah, Bob Filner, Rush Holt, Mike Honda, Marcy Kaptur, Jim Langevin, John Lewis, Zoe Lofgren, Ed Markey, Jim McGovern, Jim Moran, Gary Peters, Collin Peterson, David Price, Linda Sanchez, Allyson Schwartz, Jose Serrano, Bennie Thompson, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Henry Waxman, Peter Welch, and Frederica Wilson.

GOP Congressional Insiders Sens. Johnny Isakson, Richard Lugar, David Vitter; Reps. John Boehner, Charles Boustany, Kevin Brady, John Campbell, Eric Cantor, John Carter, Tom Cole, Mike Conaway, Jeff Denham, David Dreier, Sean Duffy, Jo Ann Emerson, Jeff Flake, Scott Garrett, Bob Goodlatte, Trey Gowdy, Kay Granger, Doc Hastings, Nan Hayworth, Mike Kelly, Peter King, Jack Kingston, Adam Kinzinger, John Kline, Dan Lungren, Kenny Marchant, Kevin McCarthy, Patrick McHenry, Candice Miller, Sue Myrick, Devin Nunes, Tom Price, Dave Reichert, Phil Roe, Paul Ryan, Aaron Schock, Adrian Smith, Steve Stivers, Lee Terry, Pat Tiberi, Fred Upton, Daniel Webster, and Joe Wilson.

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