On Tuesday, October 11, 2011, the American Jobs Act was defeated in the U.S. Senate after it failed to attract the 60 votes needed to conclude debate. Senate Democrats now intend to move forward by breaking up the $447 billion plan in order to push for votes on smaller components that Republicans may agree to. However, given the current partisan gridlock on Capitol Hill, it’s unclear if and when Congress will act.
At Goodwill®, we stand ready to work with the administration and Congress to put Americans back to work and is hopeful that some of the promising aspects of the act will move forward, including increasing employment opportunities for veterans, people who are long-term unemployed, low-income adults, individuals with disabilities and youth.
One of the proposals included in the President Obama’s plan was a spending offset that would have been achieved through certain tax increases. This included a proposal to cap the deduction for charitable donations for certain individuals and families; however, Senate Democrat leaders rejected this proposal, and replaced it with a proposed 5.6 percent surtax on individuals making more than $1 million per year. Goodwill worked with other nonprofit organizations to inform members of Congress about how tax incentives for charitable giving are critical to the nonprofit community’s ability to sustain their delivery of mission services.
As our lawmakers continue working to reduce deficits and improve the jobs crises, Goodwill will continue to monitor legislation that could impede our efforts to do more to help people find jobs and advance in careers during these difficult economic times.