By Andrea Salazar
After a Republican filibuster put an end to President Obama’s jobs package as a whole, Senate Democrats are breaking it up into separate bills.
The first component to make it to the floor will be a bill to protect and create jobs for teachers and first responders, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) told reporters during a conference call Wednesday.
The Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act would set aside $35 billion for job creation and protection in education and emergency services. As Brown told TRNS, the wording in the legislation requires state and local governments to use the proposed grant money only to retain or hire employees in those areas by September 2013.
The bill would be paid for by a 0.5 percent surtax on individuals with incomes of more than $1 million. Senate Democrats expect the bill to protect and create 400,000 jobs in education.
“A small number of people pay this and the benefit is community-wide all over the country,” Brown said. “We’re not asking for much sacrifice from them, and it will mean so much to the public interest, to public safety and our education.”
Brown had a teacher, fire chief and sheriff as guests on his conference call to discuss the need for the bill. All three agreed that there was not enough funding for the work required of them.
“If we wait another year, this is kids that aren’t taught and people that aren’t hired with middle class salaries and fires that can’t be responded to as quickly and sheriffs and police departments not responding as quickly as they should be able to,” Brown said.
More bills are forthcoming breaking down the president’s jobs bill, Brown said.
Originally for Talk Radio News Service.
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