Jobs Bill Presents Difficult Choice
A jobs bill winding its way through Congress is giving Virginia lawmakers a tough choice: create jobs or reduce the deficit. Matt Laslo reports from Washington.
As the national debt hit thirteen trillion dollars on Wednesday, Democratic leaders realized in order for a jobs bill to pass they had to trim it by about fifty billion dollars. The bill extends unemployment benefits and provides tax credits for businesses. Virginia Republicans don’t like the one hundred and forty five billion-dollar price tag, especially because about ninety billion dollars of it isn’t paid for. But with Virginia’s unemployment rate still sitting above seven percent Democrat Bobby Scott says the legislation is essential.
SCOTT: We have made a determination, which I think is appropriate, that we’re not going to worry so much about the deficit this year until we get the jobs situation straight. And that might take a little more deficit spending. States are laying people off at the rate of hundreds of billions of dollars.
In the wake of the BP disaster the legislation also includes a provision to raise more money from oil companies. Under the bill, energy companies would have to pay the government twenty six cents more for each barrel of oil they produce.
From Capitol News Connection, Matt Laslo WCVE News, Washington.