Republican-Led House Stonewalls Again on Jobs, Votes Down Cicilline Amendment

Feb 2, 2012 Issues:

WASHINGTON - With unemployment continuing to hover at 10.8% in Rhode Island, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives rejected an amendment offered today by U.S. Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) that would have required a jobs impact analysis be performed on legislation that passes out of a House committee.

“I’m constantly amazed at how effortlessly the House Republican leadership is able to punt on the important issue of creating jobs,” said Cicilline.  “Rather than passing another bill that has little chance of success in the Senate, we should have put aside partisanship and focused on commonsense legislation that will enhance our ability to create jobs.”

Cicilline offered an amendment that would have struck the text of the Pro-Growth Budgeting Act, H.R. 3582, a bill which some critics claim would help hide the true cost of trickle down economic policy, and would have replaced it with the text of his Jobs Score Act, H.R. 3787, which he introduced on January 18, 2012.  A companion to Cicilline’s bill, S. 1518, has been introduced in the Senate with bipartisan support.

The Jobs Score Act would require the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to prepare, in addition to providing cost estimates, an analysis of how many jobs will be created, sustained, or terminated – including regional and state-level estimates – as a result of enacting legislation that passes out of a committee in the House.  The Pro-Growth Budgeting Act, which Congressman Tom Price (R-GA) introduced in the House, would enact controversial provisions such as the inclusion of subjective and uncertain macroeconomic effects in revenue estimates.

Cicilline’s amendment failed by a vote of 174-245.  The Pro-Growth Budgeting Act later passed by a vote of 242-179.

Cicilline’s remarks in support of his amendment, as prepared for delivery, are included below.

---

David N. Cicilline
Remarks on Jobs Score Act
February 2, 2012
As Prepared for Delivery

A little over one year ago, when the Republican Conference was meeting to discuss changes to the Rules of the House for the 112th Congress, I offered a common sense proposal.

In a letter I sent to the Chairman of the Rules Committee in January of 2011, I stated my belief that our priority in this Congress must be to enact legislation that will lead to job growth.

I further stated that, given our priority of job creation, the new rules of the 112th Congress should require disclosure of the impact on job creation of any legislation being considered by the full House.

That was one year ago. And yet, here we are today – rehashing a seemingly age old debate over “trickle-down economics.”

And while we debate back and forth about whether H.R. 3582, the Pro-Growth Budgeting Act, is just another attempt to strengthen the case for passing large tax cuts while minimizing the actual costs – back home in the State of Rhode Island, more than 60, 000 men and woman are without jobs.

While we debate a bill with dim prospects of ever passing the Senate, more than 13 million Americans remain unemployed.

Just as many of you have seen in your own districts, I have witnessed first-hand the toll that has been taken on our families, businesses, and communities. My state was one of the first states in the Northeast to be hit by the recession. And like many other states, our recovery is slow and, with 10.8% unemployment, the toll continues.

That is why, one year later, I am still here expressing the same urgent need for this Congress to clearly understand whether our legislative actions will result in job creation or job loss.

And that is precisely what my amendment would do.

My amendment would strike the underlying language in HR 3582, and replace it with the text of my Jobs Score Act.

This proposal would amend the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 to require that, in addition to cost estimates, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) also prepare an estimate of the number of jobs which would be created, sustained, or lost by enactment of legislation reported by Committee – including regional and state level estimates.

A companion to the Jobs Score Act has been introduced in the Senate with bipartisan support.

There are no voodoo economics in this amendment.

There are no controversial provisions requiring budget estimates that assume the extension of Bush-Era Tax Cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

My amendment would not require the inclusion of subjective and uncertain macroeconomic feedback in revenue estimates.

This amendment goes beyond reviewing only “major legislation” – and requires a jobs impact assessment for every bill that requires a formal CBO score.

My amendment is simple, straightforward, and should be a proposal that any member who is serious about focusing on jobs can support.

Given these challenging economic times, and their profound impact on the lives of men, women, and families throughout America, we must ensure that policies deliberated in Congress include an evaluation of the impact on job creation.

This amendment puts politics, partisanship, and controversial economic policy aside.

Americans deserve to know whether the actions taken in Washington are likely to result in job creation or job loss, and my legislation will help provide Congress with this vitally important assessment.

I reserve the balance of my time.