White House Presses Senate On Jobs Subsidies

A key White House economic adviser is urging the Senate to extend a jobs-subsidy program that is favored by many, including the conservative governor of Mississippi.

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Subsidized Jobs program, which allows states to use funds from the 2009 economic stimulus to help pay wages for new employees, is set to expire Sept. 30 — but ought to be allowed to continue, according to Jared Bernstein, chief economic advisor to Vice President Biden.

The program is on track to have created 200,000 jobs in 35 states, Bernstein says in a new blog post on the White House website.

“Let me assure you, as someone who has spent decades studying job creation programs, to reach these kinds of numbers this quickly is nothing short of remarkable,” he says. “It shows that, like our Cash for Clunkers program of a few months back, the subsidized jobs program has hit a policy sweet spot in the current economy, something that’s all too rare in this policy space.”

National unemployment remains close to double-digits, at 9.5 percent, and slow job-creation remains a significant barrier to a more-robust economic recovery, according to many analysts. Long-term unemployment, or those Americans who have been out of work six months or more, is at a level unseen since World War II.

Workers hired under the TANF program are placed in private-sector and non-profit jobs, as well as state jobs, Bernstein says.

“With many businesses still struggling, these subsidies for new employees can make the crucial difference between small business owners hunkering down or deciding to expand their businesses and create new jobs,” he says.

A jobs bill currently before the Senate would extend the TANF jobs program, but Republicans are blocking a vote on the legislation.

That is despite stated support by other conservatives, including Haley Barbour, the Republican governor of Mississippi, and a former chairman of the Republican National Committee. Mississippi uses TANF funds to pay for its subsidized jobs program, called STEPS.

“The STEPS program will provide much-needed aid during this recession by enabling businesses to hire new workers, thus enhancing the economic engines of our local communities,” Barbour says, according to a press release from his office.

Economist Mark Zandi, an adviser to Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain’s 2008 White House campaign, also thinks TANF should be extended.

He told Congress this year that the timing of the fund’s slated expiration in September “ is particularly inopportune given that unemployment will likely still be in or near double digits, and more workers will have exhausted their benefits. Extending the program for another year until unemployment is clearly moving lower seems appropriate. ”

The publisher of the news site On The Hill, Scott Nance has covered Congress and the federal government for more than a decade.

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2 Responses to White House Presses Senate On Jobs Subsidies

  1. Peace says:

    Mr. Nance we need some help ! The US pledged as reported on CNN Anderson Cooper $1.5 billion to Haiti and they said it’s tied up in Congress and Haiti has recieved O. Now Bill Clinton says when projects are approved they’ll send the money and no one has backed out to support. We have tough economic times going on and interest is being made. Don’t think any wrong intentions but do we have the money and is Congress on it ? 50 warehouses the size of football stadiums and the food is sitting there for months and starving kids and people ! A little kid died because of no blood being found and was supply of blood available. Red Cross was given $488 million and they’ve spent $148 of it but where is the blood and no one is communicating ? We need a Google web sight that all these NGO’s currently there and supporting organizations can check into with the all information. One main blog with all the information and the NGO’s need to communicate with Bill Clinton’s team but no one can find his blog. Sounds like disorganization of coordination and communication that needs support. Thank-God for Eric and he knows where the ware house full of food is if you’re headed to Haiti to help. Can-do.org and the text is cando 85944. There is a Perkins trucking team there ready to start clearing the mess but he’s on hold with no contract and wants to hire 85% Haiti worker’s. 1000 trucks is estimated to take 3 years to clear all the rubble and of course money needed. President Preval and Bill Clinton had a meeting with heavy equipment operations and the National Center of Equipment Monday. Currently they reported three trucks are working to clean up Haiti and need more. No master plan to clean up reported but they’re working on it. If we had a Google web sight set up to report in and communicate the problems could be better understood and fixed. When do we get the trucks busy and cleaning up this mess ? Also,there is a 20% custome charge and Bill Clinton and President Preval are working on that to eliminate.Especially for the non profit organizations giving to Haiti and not selling a service. Evidently a lot of red tape to be pre -approved and weeks before they get through the proceedure and paper work all together. Customes called back and they said all countries charge a % but these non profit organizations are spending thousands for storage they don’t have. Anyway, Bill Clinton is on that and trying to straighten it out. Where is Senator Kerry’s team and can they help get a web page up and running to help coordinate information and connect all these NGO’s there ? The left doesn’t know what the right is doing and it becomes disorganized in an already over whelming circumstance. HRG Recovery trucking with Perkins is ready to go clean up and trucks are there but just sitting. I think he spent like 25 million to get there and the trucks are still sitting ? They need more help than just his team with trucks. How much is he charging and if the agreement is he hires 85% Haiti worker’s then what do you think ? Then again, there has to be a development plan and decisions made. Do you know when that plan will be implemented ? Communication and Coordination Haiti on go but call the technology wizards if you know any. Google ?Thanks so much for being a great American citizen and let Congress know Bill Clinton will be needing that US pledged money for Haiti. Obama may need to head for Haiti to check this out and take Senator Kerry. Thank-you ! Obama talked Hillary out of a good accountant and financial man at the State Department ? How much spare time does he have to help crunch the numbers on Haiti and we need the accountability transparancy up on a blog and running so that all Americans can see what’s going on and a lot of money was sent and pledged to help in tough economic times. Folks probably sent part of their unemployment check and seeing this CNN update will get ya a little angry but it’ll work out if we organize and support team up. Haiti Coordination and Operations,Planning and Development,all organizations and their telephone numbers and where people donate,etc,etc and then a page on where the money is and the accountants in America can check into that and see what’s happening. Transparancy of operations and just one blog by Google where everyone can go to see what’s happening and stay coordinated and organized with information if they need something. Maybe the Obama team can set this up ? Thanks so much ! Don’t forget the US pledged 1.5 billion to Haiti and has paid O to date per CNN,Anderson Cooper.

  2. Peace says:

    9.5 % unemployment and Americans still find a way to support Haiti ! Didn’t go to revise to edit last night and God Bless America ! What’s next ? No jobs,no unemployment,questionable Social Security money when we get there and the littel kid is dead in Haiti because no one is communicating about where the blood is. Would you be freaking if you were the one with that little kid running around looking for blood you knew was there but couldn’t find ? Red Cross get the blood in the loop to Haiti ! Who knows where the blood is ? Do we need some mega phones or a siren ! Help a little kid is dying and we need some blood and need to know where it is ! Communicate and someone call Google and the technology wizards to set up something that all these supporting organizations can check into and stay connected. They’re suppose to be checking in with Bill Clinton and do it ! There is a football stadium warehouse full of food and what is the procedure to get some food out of there and feed 50 little kids three miles down the road ? Eric with can-do.org or text 85944 knows where the food is ! How do we let everyone know that ? Congress we need some money to get the bull dozers moving for clean up. Make some decisions and team up ! Randy Perkins needs a contract but how much is he charging to get that equipment moving ? It cost him 2 million to get it there and we need more heavy equipment and help. At least get this Perkins Recovery contract moving or we the people will. How much is Randy Perkins to get moving today ? Where is the plan and where does he start ? They need doctors there fast and a discount flight. ! Obama could fly over and pack a team of doctor’s in one of our American jets he’s got that American citizens pay for.No unemployment ,Haiti is a mess, BP stunk up our oceans and enough is enough ! Makes ya want to cuss out the 60’s generation that left the 70’s generation to deal with all this mess and the Democrats and Republicans need to work together ! To many problems that need solutions going on ! Who’s got a buddie that works for Google to hook up one place that everybody knows to go on Haiti to check in and communicate ? I’m going to tell them to go to the Democratic Daily and go get Pamela and some professional writer’s. This blog will kick…. ! CALL ERIC FOR THE FOOD and he knows where it is ! Get that on the radio stations so people know who to yell for to get food to starving people sitting in a warehouse ! God Bless America ! Rubble in Haiti cleared and a plan to do it we the people see ! Go Senator Kerry and Bill Clinton ! Theme song….Shake,Rattle and Roll !