Measure praised by National Manufacturing Association
Will also fund 16,000 education jobs in California
Bilbray casts lone local vote against bill
August 16, 2010 (Washington D.C.) – “The Manufacturing Enhancement Act of 2010 will create jobs, help Americans compete, and strengthen manufacturing as a key driver of our economic recovery,” President Barack Obama said in a signing ceremony last week.
National Association of Manufacturers president and CEO John Engler praised the bill, which he said will "provide a needed boost to both large and small companies.” The measure will preserve and expand “good American jobs” and cut costs of doing business in the U.S., he added.
This will boost American manufacturing exports, the industry leader said, noting that studies show these provisions can increase production by $4.6 billion and support almost 90,000 jobs.
“For too long, we’ve been buying too much from the rest of the world, when we should be selling more to the rest of the world,” President Obama said, noting that 95% of the world’s customers and fastest-growing markets are outside U.S. borders. “When the playing field is even, American workers can compete with anybody…That’s why we fought for and passed tax breaks for companies that are investing here in the United States rather than companies that are keeping profits offshore. That’s why we closed loopholes that encourage corporations to ship American jobs overseas. That’s why we’re enforcing our trade laws—in some cases, for the very first time.”
The job-creation bill will grant employers an exemption from Social Security payroll contribution for each new employee hired this year, if the employee has been out of work for 60 days or more. Employers will also received an additional income $1,000 tax credit for each employee that they keep on the payroll for a full year. In addition, the measure makes it easier for businesses to write off equipment purchases.
It also funds billions in federal highway and mass transit projects to jump-start construction projects and create jobs; costs are offset by tax code modifications.
The bill passed the House by a 378 to 43 vote. Among local Congressional members, only Republican Brian Bilbray voted no. All other San Diego Congressional members voted yes, including Democrats Bob Filner and Susan Davis, joined by Republicans Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa.
It was later approved by the Senate, which removed some tax breaks for research and development. “The majority leader decided to pull the rug out from under a common-sense bipartisan bill,” said Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who voted against the bill, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Democrats have said they will introduce those items in separate legislation in the near future.
California schools will receive $1.2 billion in funsd from the measure to save or create an estimated 16,500 education jobs including teachers, counselors, librarians, nurses, administrators and other school employees, as well as restore some pay cuts and furlough days.
“It’s not a panacea, but during these extraordinarily impossible budget times, it will help,” California superintendent of public instruction Jack O’Connell said.
The new law also drew praise from Congressional Black Caucus Chair Barbara Lee (D-California), who noted that unemployment rates among African-Americans and Latinos remains high at 15.6 and 12.1 percent respectively.
The President noted some positive signs that the economy is beginning to rebound. For the first time in over five years, the Big Three automatkers are operating at a profit and the auto industry has added 76,000 jobs since last June—the strongest growth in a decade. He also cited “extraordinary growth we’ve seen in the clean energy sector,” due in part to investment in clean energy manufacturing credits. He cited just one problem: “There weren’t enough to go around…That’s why I’m urging Congress once again to invest $5 billion in these clean energy manufacturing tax credits,” he concluded. The President predicted that such credits would generate $12 billion or more in private sector investment, creating tens of thousands of new jobs.