Labor secretary sells Obama’s jobs plan in Las Vegas
President Obama’s jobs plan would have a significant positive effect on Southern Nevada’s economy by putting construction laborers back to work, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said today in Las Vegas.
Solis met with the Las Vegas Sun editorial board following an appearance before the Laborers’ International Union of North America at Paris Las Vegas.
Solis said she expects Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan, unveiled to a joint session of Congress on Thursday and detailed in a bill sent to legislators today, to garner bipartisan support because it uses ideas from both sides of the political aisle.
“Economists say anywhere from 1 million to 1.9 million workers in the construction industry (would be put to work),” Solis said. “That would have an immediate impact on places like Nevada, particularly here (in Las Vegas) where the housing boom was the hardest hit.”
Obama’s proposal includes tax breaks for small businesses, economic stimulus programs and a national infrastructure “bank” to fund roads, bridges, airports, seaports, railways, refineries and to upgrade schools. The president has proposed reducing tax deductions, modifying entitlement programs and increasing taxes on the most wealthy to pay for those programs.
The bill already has been criticized by Republican leaders who say they’ll reject tax increases and will focus on deficit reductions.
Solis asked union members attending the Laborers’ convention to continue to pressure the opposition.
“We need our labor allies to create momentum that our opponents cannot stop,” she said in prepared remarks. “By lifting up your industry, we’ll lift up all of America at a time when this country is counting on you more than ever before.”