H.R. 4213 has become synonymous with a vote on extension of unemployment benefits. The fact is that H.R. 4213 consists of numerous provisions that have nothing to do with unemployment benefits. The title for H.R. 4213, the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010, does not accurately describe the extensive objectives of the bill. An in-depth examination of the Bill may lend insight into the difficulties Democrats are having getting enough votes.
- First, the H.R. 4213's provisions for unemployment extension are overwhelmed by other costly programs that have nothing to do with unemployment benefits. This is the reason there has been an outcry for a "stand-alone" bill solely addressing unemployment. Such legislation would be far less costly than passing the entirety of H.R. 4213. It is estimated this portion of the legislation would cost $39 billion versus the $80 billion cost of H.R. 4213.
- Second, H.R. 4213 contains provisions that are plainly directed to pet projects of certain Senators. The Christian Science Monitor reports that the bill contains $46 million in tax subsidies for movie producers and $38 million for NASCAR racetrack owners. One must ask why the Senate would even think about giving millions of dollars to millionaires.
- Third, H.R. 4213 contains other provisions that should be included in separate stand-alone legislation. The Bill extends the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act small business lending program, the Surface Transportation Act of 2010 infrastructure programs, business tax relief and increased spending on federal disaster relief programs.
These facts make plain that the vote on H.R. 4213 was about far more than assistance for the unemployed.
Stay-Tuned: More about the vote on unemployment extensions, the long term unemployed and job creation
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