September 08, 2011

Manchin Cosponsors Legislation to Focus Washington Squarely on Job Creation

Bill would create bipartisan jobs committee in U.S. Senate to recommend ways to create jobs, foster economic growth, reduce unemployment

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is cosponsoring legislation to create a Joint Select Committee on Job Creation to make specific recommendations on ways to create jobs, foster economic growth and reduce the unacceptably high unemployment rate. The bipartisan committee – whose members would come from both the House and Senate – would help ensure that job creation is at the top of the Washington’s agenda. 

“The No. 1 issue on the minds of West Virginians and all Americans is jobs – how we can keep and create them – and that is where Congress should be laser-focused as well,” Senator Manchin said. “The American people deserve elected leaders whose sole focus is on jobs, jobs, jobs and it’s time that Congress brings together the best commonsense ideas from both political parties and from both chambers. West Virginians cannot afford for us to wait any longer to act on a jobs plan that will start rebuilding America, create confidence, and get people working again.” 

The Select Committee on Job Creation would have 12 members: six from the House, six from the Senate, evenly split between Democrats and Republics. 

The legislation was introduced by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and has also been cosponsored by Senators Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Mark Begich (D-Alaska). Along with those Senators, Senator Manchin sent a letter urging his colleagues in the Senate to support the legislation. The full text of a letter is below. 

September 6, 2011

Dear Colleague:

As Congress and our country consider how best to confront the deficit and our lagging economy, now is the time to focus on our shared, bipartisan priority: creating new jobs.  

Americans from all walks of life have long realized that the best way to shrink our deficit and get our economy back on track is to help hard-working Americans find good-paying jobs. In short, we must put America back to work. Yet Congress has failed to act with any sense of urgency to address the unacceptably high unemployment rate.    

Nearly 14 million Americans are unemployed – and more than six million have been without work for longer than six months – putting a strain on cash-strapped states and increasing reliance on important safety net programs like Medicaid. For too many families, the lack of job security means they cannot afford to stay in their homes – or are forced to choose between buying essentials like food and clothing, paying their children’s college tuition, or paying their mortgage. Older workers are pushed into retirement without sufficient savings or the means to pay for long-term care.  

Creating new jobs would allow millions of American workers to become self-sufficient, and would save billions of dollars in spending on programs like unemployment insurance and food stamps.            

I intend to introduce legislation later this week that would help put job creation at the top of Congress’s agenda. This legislation, modeled after a proposal that will be introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman John Larson, would establish a Joint Select Committee on Job Creation. This Joint Select Committee would be structured similarly to the Deficit Committee recently established by Congress, and would be responsible for making recommendations on how to reduce America’s unemployment rate.  

Congress has acted to address the rising deficits and debt that threaten our economic recovery. Now Congress should also act, responsibly and effectively, to address the pervasive and pernicious problems that just as seriously imperil our economic future and social fabric.