The Senate Republican Jobs Bill: A “Jobs Plan” About Everything Except Jobs

November 10, 2011

Contact: Rich Robinson (202) 588-7773 or rrobinson@ombwatch.org
Brian Gumm (202) 683-4812 or bgumm@ombwatch.org

Note: Today, the House of Representatives will vote on S. 1720, the “Jobs Through Growth Act.” This bill is less a coherent piece of legislation than a laundry list of proposals pushed by corporate interests to weaken safeguards for American families and the environment, and to erode the rights of workers. It includes a number of proposals designed to stymie our government’s ability to protect the public. Tellingly, none of these proposals creates jobs.

Member organizations of the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards offer statements on this egregious attack on public protections:

“Anyone interested in addressing the jobs crisis knows what the government should do: invest in America to put people back to work. On the other hand, if you were interested in satisfying demands from Big Business to gut the country’s health, safety, environmental, financial and other regulatory protections; or if you wanted to enable Wall Street to escape from the minimal restraints imposed after the financial sector crashed our economy; or if you wanted to help dirty energy companies escape minimal environmental obligations; or if you wanted to help giant corporations escape paying their fair share of taxes; or if you wanted to take away basic rights from workers; or if you wanted to help corporate criminals and wrongdoers escape accountability; or if you wanted to enable more offshoring; or more generally, if you wanted to satisfy Big Business contributors, then you might support the Republican corporate gift basket masquerading under the name of the ‘Jobs Through Growth Act.’ ”

Robert Weissman, president
Public Citizen

“S. 1720 is not a jobs bill; it is a repackaging of an ideological agenda to cripple the government and overturn protections for workers and consumers.  S. 1720 would give corporate interests and Wall Street unfettered power and benefit the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.”

Peg Seminario, safety and health director
AFL-CIO

“The contrast here could not be clearer: Will Congress pay back America’s veterans with jobs or pay back corporate lobbyists with regulatory loopholes?”

Heather McGhee, director, Washington office
Demos

“Last week the Senate easily defeated a bad bill sponsored by Senator Hatch that would turn back the clock on several environmental rules and make it virtually impossible to set new standards for polluters. This bill, by Senator McCain, is the Hatch bill on steroids. It does not create jobs but jeopardizes the health of our children, our planet, even our economy. This bill is a clear indication that its supporters really do not have any plans to create jobs and improve the economy.”

Scott Slesinger, legislative director
Natural Resources Defense Council

“There is not a shred of evidence that the provisions in this bill will do anything to advance the public good.”

Francesca Grifo, senior scientist and director
Union of Concerned Scientists

“This bill is not about creating jobs.  Rather, it’s yet another attempt to gut popular, protective laws by including damaging provisions like the REINS Act and a far-reaching moratorium on public protections that safeguard American families and communities from harm.  This is not good policy, and the Senate should reject it.”

Jessica Randall, regulatory policy analyst
OMB Watch

“The premise behind the deregulation provisions of S. 1720 is fundamentally inaccurate. Economic data such as low capacity utilization levels make clear that it is the lack of demand, not regulation or regulatory uncertainty, which explains the still-staggering labor market. Small businesses and business economists say the same thing; polls of these groups, by business associations, indicate that lack of demand is by far their largest concern, not regulation. Our country needs a real jobs program that provides the further stimulus needed to hasten our recovery from the financial collapse, which itself was spurred by deregulation.  Congressional efforts that dress up corporate regulatory relief as job creation are counterproductive distractions.”

Isaac Shapiro, director of regulatory policy research
Economic Policy Institute

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The Coalition for Sensible Safeguards is an alliance of consumer, labor, scientific, research, good government, faith, community, health, environmental, and public interest groups, as well as concerned individuals, joined in the belief that our country’s system of regulatory safeguards provides a stable framework that secures our quality of life and paves the way for a sound economy that benefits us all. For more information about the coalition, go to www.sensiblesafeguards.org.