Apparently sensing a winning argument with voters, Senate Democrats are continuing their theme of being focused on job creation, while Republicans are busy fighting over healthcare reform and other issues.
Senate Democrats on Tuesday distributed clips of news coverage to back up their position, including a piece by Associated Press reporter Charles Babington titled, “Republicans Accused of Ignoring Economy.”
The key point Democrats pulled from the AP story: “Republicans won dozens of elections last fall after claiming Democrats had focused too little on creating jobs. Now GOP lawmakers stand accused of the same charge,using their new House majority to push to repeal the president’s health care law, restrict abortions and highlight other social issues important to their most conservative supporters. At best, House Republicans seem to be sending mixed or diluted messages about job creation while they promote social issues that appeal to conservative activists.”
Democrats also released a compilation of headlines that tout the jobs focus they’ve taken on legislation to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and modernize the nation’s air travel system.
Democrats have dubbed their FAA reauthorization bill the “first jobs bill of the new Congress.” The legislation would create at least 280,000 jobs, they say, citing an airline industry estimate.
“Democrats are focused like a laser on jobs, and we hope Republicans will join us to pass common-sense measures like this bill that will keep our economy moving,” says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). “More than 45 million people visit Las Vegas and Reno every year, and they are critical to the Nevada economy. About half of the people who come to Las Vegas land at McCarran Airport. This generates more than $25 billion a year for Clark County and sustains more than 18,000 jobs. Modernizing our air travel infrastructure, reducing delays and improving safety will create jobs in Nevada and all across the country
The FAA legislation would invest $8 billion in the Airport Improvement Program, which funds airport planning and construction, which will create and protect at least jobs, Democrats say. It will also improve access to rural communities and ensure that it remains affordable to get to small cities and towns across the country by funding the Essential Air Service Program.
“Our economy depends on moving passengers and cargo efficiently and cost-effectively throughout our country and around the world each day, but the air traffic system we rely on is outdated and lags behind current technology other countries use, limiting growth and future opportunities,” says Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.). “In my home state, the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport each day moves nearly 900 flights, 85,000 passengers and 740 tons of cargo to 23 countries. The airport’s economic impact on just one county is nearly $17 billion per year and nearly 150,000 jobs. But without modernizations and investments for our future, our growth is limited. We know that America’s future depends on our ability to innovate and make critical investments. We must act now and pass this critical bill to modernize our aviation industry using long-term, commonsense solutions.”
In addition to creating jobs, the bill would protect consumers, improve air travel safety and reduce delays by 20 percent, according to Democrats. The reduction in delays will not only save passengers time and frustration, but will also save airlines and businesses money. Fewer delays will also save fuel, which will reduce greenhouse gas pollution by airlines and improve the environment, they add.
The publisher of the news site On The Hill, Scott Nance has covered Congress and the federal government for more than a decade.