The White House has been telegraphing the shape of the proposal that President Obama will make tomorrow in his jobs speech to a joint session of Congress.
It looks like it is a half-sized version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The media is reporting that the proposal will be about $300 billion but faces stiff opposition from Republicans in the House. I’d suggest that state and local governments not include these funds in their budgets quite yet. Bloomberg says:
Obama’s jobs plan follows the contours of his $830 billion 2009 economic stimulus package, which also stressed tax cuts, infrastructure spending and assistance to local governments. Still, tax cuts would account for a larger portion of the proposal he will lay out this week.
Much of Obama’s plan may have trouble passing the U.S. House, where leaders of the Republican majority have signaled opposition to new spending that would add to the federal budget deficit. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia released a letter to Obama yesterday saying their objections to the 2009 stimulus, which they called a “large, deficit-financed, government spending bill,” have been validated by continued high unemployment.
The direct aid to local governments would focus on halting layoffs of teachers and first responders. Education will be a theme in Obama’s address, and he will also propose as part of his infrastructure program money for school construction. Some of the infrastructure spending would go toward roads, bridges and other surface transportation projects.