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Co-Chairs Pen Letter to President Obama on Jobs Plan

Dear Mr. President:

We are pleased you will be addressing a joint session of Congress next week to outline your much-anticipated jobs package. We encourage you to include in that package large-scale programs that will significantly reduce unemployment and our deficit.  Specifically, we urge you to support emergency jobs legislation that will immediately put Americans back to work.  With 14 million Americans still looking for work, this is not the time to tinker around the edges. We must take bold action, and that requires federal emergency jobs legislation.

Washington needs to invest in the country’s future by enacting significant emergency jobs legislation to put Americans back to work now.  There is no shortage of work to be done in America, and no shortage of workers to do it.  Young Americans in particular are facing a bleak economic reality. Many of them have mountains of college debt and no prospects for employment. We are squandering the talent, energy and hopes of a generation. We urge the Administration to make a good American job a reality for every young person.

In addition to addressing the immediate unemployment crisis, it’s also time to invest in long-term opportunities that create jobs and rebuild America.  One option with broad support is creating a National Infrastructure Development Bank.  The country’s infrastructure needs an estimated investment of $2.2 trillion. We should not delay these crucial investments, especially while millions of Americans are out of work.  Rebuilding America – without creating expensive new corporate tax loopholes – will further boost our economy and create badly needed jobs.

We can stem the tide of mass unemployment and meet our long-term national commitments by enacting emergency jobs legislation and creating a National Infrastructure Development Bank.  We look forward to continuing to work with you to enact these initiatives to put America back to work. 



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KEITH ELLISON, Co-Chair                                              RAÚL GRIJALVA, Co-Chair

Congressional Progressive Caucus                            Congressional Progressive Caucus