Washington Report: Updates from Capitol Hill

Black farmers settlement; education enforcement; another jobs bill; aid for Haiti

Funding Unclear for Proposed Jobs Bill

House Democrats and U.S. mayors introduced a jobs bill on Wednesday that would direct $100 billion over two years to states and localities to help them save or create government jobs and fund salaries for job-training programs.

The Local Jobs for America Act would provide more than $24 billion to governors to support education and public safety jobs; $75 billion would go directly to struggling communities to help them hire or retain employees.

But Rep. George Miller (D-California), who heads the House Education and Labor Committee, acknowledged that he doesn’t know how the bill would be paid for.

Bill co-sponsor Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota) said that sometimes “the right kind of circumstances can come together to make [such bills] a hot issue.”

Ellison and other black lawmakers want Obama to publically acknowledge that black communities have been hit the hardest by the recession and that something must be done about it.

“I want the president to stop saying ‘We are the world, one size fits all’ in terms of the jobs situation,” Ellison said. “The misery that this country is facing is hitting everybody, but it’s hitting some much worse than others and we need to be real about that.”

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