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Title: American Jobs Act of 2011
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote on a motion to invoke cloture on a bill that establishes programs designed to increase employment in the United States.
More Info About this Vote
- Establishes a tax of 5.6 percent of an individual's modified adjusted gross income if the individual's adjusted gross income is more than $1 million (Sec. 401).
- Defines "modified adjusted gross income" as the adjusted gross income, minus any eligible deductions for investment (Sec. 401).
- Prohibits any of the funds made available by this bill from being used for a project unless all of the manufactured goods used in the project are produced in the United States, unless (Sec. 4):
- This requirement would "be inconsistent with the public interest";
- Iron, steel, and the relevant manufactured goods are not produced in sufficient and reasonably available quantities and quality; or
- Inclusion of iron, steel, and manufactured goods produced in the United States will increase the cost of the project by more than 25 percent.
- Reduces the temporary payroll tax rate for employers and employees from 6.2 percent to 3.1 percent (Sec. 101).
- Reduces the temporary payroll tax rate for the self-employed from 12.4 percent to 6.2 percent (Sec. 101).
- Establishes tax credits for employers who hire qualified veterans including, but not limited to, the following credits (Sec. 201):
- $12,000 for a veteran who was hired no more than 1 year after being discharged or released from active duty; and
- $24,000 for a veteran who has had aggregated periods of unemployment totaling 6 months or more during the 1-year period between the date the veteran was discharged from active duty and the date that the veteran was hired by the employer.
- Appropriates $30 billion to the states for subgrants to local educational agencies for compensation, benefits, and other expenses necessary to retain existing employees, recall or rehire former employees, or hire new employees to provide early childhood, elementary, or secondary education-related services (Secs. 203-207).
- Appropriates $5 billion, available until September 30, 2012, for a grant program administered by the Attorney General for the purpose of retaining existing jobs and creating new jobs for law enforcement officers and other first responders (Secs. 213-215).
- Appropriates $25 billion for the repair of elementary and secondary school buildings in public school districts, to be distributed as follows (Secs. 221-223):
- One-half of 1 percent for the Secretary of the Interior for repair activities in schools operated or funded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs;
- One-half of 1 percent to make grants to outlying area for repair activities; and
- 40 percent of the remaining amount of funds to the 100 local educational agencies with the largest number of children aged 5-17 living in poverty.
- Establishes the Reemployment NOW program, which authorizes the Secretary of Labor to distribute funds to states with certified plans to facilitate the reemployment of individuals who are receiving emergency unemployment compensation (Sec. 321).
- Appropriates $4 billion for fiscal year 2012 for the Reemployment NOW program and requires the funds to be administered as follows (Sec. 321):
- Up to 1 percent may be retained by the Secretary of Labor for federal administrative expenses; and
- The remainder of the funds must be distributed to states with certified plans to facilitate the reemployment of individuals receiving emergency unemployment compensation.
- Requires a state to submit a plan containing certain elements including, but not limited to, the following in order to receive funds appropriated to the Reemployment NOW program (Sec. 323):
- A description of the activities that will be carried out by the state to assist in the reemployment of eligible individuals;
- A description of the performance outcomes to be achieved by the state through activities carried out; and
- A timeline for implementation of the activities described in the plan.
- Authorizes a state to use funds appropriated to the Reemployment NOW program for the purpose of establishing a Bridge to Work program, which provides an emergency unemployment claimant with short term work, during which time the individual (Sec. 324):
- Shall be paid emergency unemployment compensation as wages for work performed;
- Shall be paid augmented wages in the event that the wages that are paid by the employer are not sufficient to equal or exceed the federal minimum wage; and
- May be paid additional compensation by a state or by a participating employer as wages for work performed.
- Establishes the Pathways Back to Work Fund, and appropriates $5 billion to the fund, to be distributed as follows (Secs. 362-363):
- $2 billion for subsidized employment to unemployed, low-income adults;
- $1.5 billion for summer and year-round employment opportunities to low-income youths; and
- $1.5 billion for competitive grants to local entities for the purpose of work-based training and other work-related and educational activities to unemployed, low-income adults and low-income youth.
NOTE: INVOKING CLOTURE REQUIRES A 3/5 MAJORITY OF THE SENATE. IT IS NOT A VOTE ON THE PASSAGE OF THE PIECE OF LEGISLATION, BUT LIMITS FURTHER DEBATE TO 30 HOURS. CLOTURE IS TYPICALLY USED TO END A FILIBUSTER. A FAILED CLOTURE VOTE OFTEN PREVENTS THE LEGISLATION FROM EVER COMING TO A VOTE.