For Immediate Release: June 27, 2012
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA), a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, joined his fellow Democratic colleagues on the Committee and introduced two more jobs bills as part of the “No Excuses Agenda” – the Agenda is intended to encourage Congressional Republicans to finally act to spur job growth. McDermott and his colleagues introduced the “Wind Powering American Jobs Act of 2012” and the “Hire Now Act of 2012” – two bills that have received bipartisan support and would help the economy.
“Since President Obama took office, the stated goal of Republican leadership has been to prevent his reelection. They have become the party of ‘no,’ even at the expense of the American people,” said Congressman McDermott. “Recognizing this, we are offering two more bills that Republicans should have no problem passing. Each bill has Republican support, is fully paid for, and is known to save and create jobs.”
The Wind Powering American Jobs Act would extend through 2013 the production tax credit for wind energy manufacturers, a highly successful measure that expires at the end of the year. The Hire Now Act would provide a 10 percent income tax credit for employer payroll increases this year, an identical measure to one included in the Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act of 2012, which will soon be acted on in the Senate. Both measures would be paid for by ending tax breaks for the Big Five oil and gas companies, which earned a combined $32 billion in profits during the first three months of 2012 alone. (See summaries below for more information on each bill.)
McDermott added, “For the sake of struggling Americans and U.S. businesses, I hope that my Republican colleagues will finally move beyond the politics of ‘no’ and allow these bills to come to the floor. Failing to pass these bills would show, yet again, that the Republican majority is more interested in Presidential politics than doing the right thing for the American people.”
Today’s bill introductions add to the No Excuses Agenda that McDermott and his Ways and Means Democratic colleagues kicked off last week with the introduction of legislation to extend 100 percent Bonus Depreciation through 2012, another bipartisan provision that Republicans in Congress have so far failed to bring up for a vote.
Summary of the Wind Powering American Jobs Act of 2012:
The Wind Powering American Jobs Act would extend the Production Tax Credit through 2013, providing a 2.2-cent-a-kilowatt-hour credit for electricity produced by wind turbines. Under the measure, wind project developers could continue to choose to instead receive a 30 percent investment tax credit. The Production Tax Credit, established in 1992, has helped lead to tremendous growth within the windy energy industry. The extension is paid for by repealing dual capacity taxpayer benefits for the Big Five integrated oil companies, which continue to reap record profits.
- There is broad bipartisan support for the Production Tax Credit, so much so that even Karl Rove advocates for its extension.
- In the last five years alone, the wind energy industry has scaled up domestic manufacturing from 25 percent to 60 percent. Nearly 500 facilities in 44 states manufacture for the wind energy industry, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
- The wind industry has attracted more than $15 billion annually in private investment to the U.S. in each of the last five years, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
Summary of the Hire Now Act of 2012:
The Hire Now Act would provide a 10 percent income tax credit for firms that create new jobs or increase wages in 2012. Under the legislation a firm can increase its payroll by either hiring additional workers or raising the salary of existing workers. The credit is targeted to middle class jobs and wages and because the credit is based on Social Security wages, companies would receive no credit for wages above $110,100. It would be paid for by repealing LIFO and Intangible Drilling Costs (IDCs) for the Big Five integrated oil companies.
- In order to focus the benefit on small businesses, the credit is limited to $5 million in new wages, meaning the maximum tax benefit is $500,000 per firm.
- Provides $20 billion in direct tax relief that could encourage an additional $200 billion to $300 billion in new wages and jobs this year.
- Would benefit approximately 2 million small businesses.
Follow McDermott on Twitter: @RepJimMcDermott.