December 3rd, 2009
03:14 PM ET
3 months ago

House Democrats want to use bailout money to pay for jobs

Washington (CNN) - House Democrats said Thursday they're planning to use money intended to bail out banks, Wall Street and other financial institutions to pay for their jobs bill, a package they aim to vote on by the end of the
year.

"I think the TARP funds are appropriately used to create jobs to reduce the deficit," Speaker Nancy Pelosi said at her weekly news conference, referring to the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

It's unclear if the proposal would tap unused TARP funds or money repaid to the Treasury by banks who got bailout money. Democratic sources say leaders are discussing those details with the Obama administration.

Pelosi and other Democratic leaders have been looking at a series of proposals to address the record unemployment numbers in recent weeks and are now focusing on an initial package that Congress could vote on before leaving for the holiday break.

But the speaker stressed that "this is not the be-all" and said Congress will work on a broader economic proposal early next year.

The major piece of the Democrats' jobs package is a continuation of the centerpiece of the stimulus bill enacted earlier this year - investments in infrastructure such as water projects, high-speed rail programs, and retrofitting buildings with energy-efficient technologies. But, Pelosi argued, "this is not my father's public works program."

House Republican Leader John Boehner immediately rejected the idea, saying that bailout money was meant only for emergencies. "This idea that we're going to take this money that's being paid back to the government and then turn around and spend it on useless government programs is a very big mistake," he said.

Democrats also want to funnel money to pay directly for local needs that struggling state governments have been unable to support, such as more police, teachers, and emergency response personnel, according to several Democratic leadership sources.

In addition to the infrastructure spending, Democrats plan to extend unemployment assistance, pay for food stamps, and renew health care benefits for Americans whose coverage is expiring at the end of the year. But while the bailout money would be tapped to pay for the new infrastructure and jobs program components, Democrats do not plan to use it to pay for the extension of these benefits, according to these sources.

House Democrats met Thursday morning to discuss the size of a package that they could pass this year but no decisions were made. Pelosi told members she was still talking to the White House about it. But representatives agreed that if they are to vote on it this year it would need to be tacked onto the must-pass spending measure that funds the government.

"There's real urgency in our caucus to do something before Christmas," said one Democratic leadership aide.


Filed under: Democrats • Economy • House • TARP
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. gt

    nit wit nancy with another one of her stupid scams.....

    December 3, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  2. Amazing

    Quit spending money........that's not how to create jobs, clueless Democrats. Pay down this enormous deficit you are creating and give businesses a break so we can hire people and get back to work. We are afraid to do anything right now..........we are the job creators, not Nancy Botoxi....too much has gone to her brain. What does this clueless woman know, she spent 3,000 of tax payer dollars on flowers.

    December 3, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  3. Forever Conservative

    Typical democrats, no real solutions, only hot air! Just rob Peter to pay Paul. Buy jobs that won't exist when the money runs out. Why don't you just take that same money and simply give it to the same liberal left who's too lazy to get a real job. These are the same folk who haven't worked in years, have no intention of working or getting any type of job. The people who really need the money won't see a penny of it. These are the people who were laid off by their companies. The people who had jobs and have always worked and paid taxes. Those are the people who deserve to be helped. Send them to my house, I will be more than happy to help these folks that deserve it. This is the true America, the America I remember.

    December 3, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. MatthewDetroit

    The Democrats sure love to spend money...

    Why not stop spending and pay the deficit down...

    December 3, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  5. Mark

    A bill for jobs? I thought that's what they told us the stimulus was for, remember the promises of shovel ready projects? In my state more money has gone to public housing than the roads, that's not creating jobs.

    If obama would tell the USA that he's dropping the health care takeover, and will not pursue carbon caps and cardcheck, small businesses would get going quickly. Small business owners have been left out in the cold so far and we create the jobs. I won't hire a new employee with huge tax increases to pay for health care and energy staring me in the face.

    December 3, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  6. Rick McDaniel

    Only after most of the big banks paid back the money.

    December 3, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  7. george

    JOBS are good and we need MORE of them for sure! But let's hope we have "more success" than we have had with previous "Bail Out" extravaganzas. If some of the Banks want to pay back ALL of the monies they received earlier in BAIL OUT MANIA...question should be..."Did they need it in the first place?" Have things turned around that quickly for the Big Banks...Must be the outlandinsh FEES they are charging and the uptick in Interest Rates they are charging are "Paying Off"....at the customer's expense, of course...

    George in Rochester

    December 3, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  8. jaye

    Most all the banks that received bailout money are now operating again, and paying back their debt.
    I commend the democrats for helping regular citizens now that the banking mess is nearly over.
    Read your history books and learn why the great depression was so horrible – it's because Hoover did nothing to help the economy. Same goes for Jimmy Carter.
    The government has to spend money. Period.

    December 3, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  9. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    "This idea that we're going to take this money that's being paid back to the government and then turn around and spend it on useless government programs is a very big mistake,"

    Still on that whole "tax cut" and "trickle down" train wreck.

    Well. at least we know how the cons really feel about helping the unemployed average American!

    December 3, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  10. Tony

    That is tax pater money coming back. It should go to the tax paters via tax breaks. Pelosi and this free spending congress couldn't create jobs with a trillion dollar liveral Christmas wish list called th Porkulus. Why would anyone in their right mind think they will get it right this time?? Just more pork to be doled out. GIVE ME MY MONEY BACK AND STAY OUT OF THE WAY, the jobs will come in 2010 once we vote all of you libs out of office.

    December 3, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  11. welches, oregon

    This Afghanistan 'surge' was already planned long LONG before Obama ever took office. My husband works for a company that contracts with Freightliner – and they've been making massive military parts for trucks and tanks for the last two years – MASSIVE. So 'they' already had this planned. Just proves Obama is a figurehead and has no real power. Same ol Same ol – nothing different – no change – the American People are just pawns in whomever's game this is. It's fruitless to even try anymore – which is exactly what 'they' want. We work our tails off for 40 years and pay massive taxes – 'they' all get rich off our sweat. Seems like we're just all endentured servants.
    Obama o'shama – let's all just kill ourselves now

    December 3, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  12. Richard Rehm

    Subsidize the minimum wage by matching funds! Say an employer could pay a worker f $7, and the $7 hr were 'matched' by the Government, the employee would get $14 hr, which would give him/her some actual purchasing power while giving the small business owner a break in costs! Then give the Employer a tax cut for each job he makes! Money in the hands of consumers add up to more jobs !

    December 3, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  13. Mike Syracuse, NY

    How about using the stimulus money to actually create jobs. Even if you accept the Administration's lie that 650,000 jobs have been created or saved, based on the money spent that works out to over $200,000 per job. And some of you want to turn over $1 trillion to these clowns to spend on health care?

    December 3, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  14. LIP

    If Nancy and the boys continue to drag their collective feet on this jobs problem, they will have to stop blaming Bush for all their problems and blame themselves.
    Remember how they insisted Bush implement a deadline for troop wirhdrawal. Maybe we should have a deadline for providing jobs for the 10.2+% unemployed.

    December 3, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  15. Jackie in Dallas

    Uh....Boehner....our unemployment numbers ARE an emergency! I think that this is a good concept for money that was requested by a Republican President, and passed with bi-partisan support! I don't think any program that puts Americans back to work is a "uselss government program".

    December 3, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  16. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    As to this nonsense about the private sector is where jobs are created, not the government, answer me this. Who is the largest employer in the U.S. of A.? That's right, the federal government. It may surprise you that they have been for a very long time regardless (because irregardless is not a word) of who is in the oval office. Add to that state, county and municipal governments as well as those working from federal grant money and I'd say the public sector creates a boatload of jobs (bonus: they are not in India and China). So let's not hear any more of this rah rah private sector codswallop. Have a nice day!

    December 3, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  17. Sean

    Sounds good to me. Spend that money on actual jobs over-seen by the government. The events of the last 2 years or so have shown us that the for-profit private sector can't be trusted to keep the peoples' best interest. And why would we trust them, corporations and businesses are designed to make profits, not care for the down trodden.

    December 3, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  18. bill

    What doesn't the liberials get GOVERNMENT DOES NOT CREATE JOBS.

    December 3, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  19. Richard Rehm

    By subsidizing the low end of the scale you give work to youth and get them off the street and reduce crime! Reduced crime saves $$$$ also! Also ,have a moritorium on Federal Taxes taken out . Kids with money in their pockets will spend it in a hurry and thus create more jobs etc. etc.

    December 3, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  20. Bedtime for Obonzo

    Finally. I've been waiting for Democrats to propose this. Take the remaining $400 billion in unspent Porkulous Act money. Hire workers at $50,000 per year to dig holes, then fill them in again. Presto – 8 million new jobs!

    December 3, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  21. Darko

    Govt funded jobs are the least effective means of reviving an economy. Unless the money is used to spur the private sector, it's useless.

    Companies refuse to expand employment because they have no clue what Obama plans with the economy, they don't know what the rules are and can't plan on the rules not changing at a whim from the president or Congress.

    Instability is the bane of businesses and Obama doesn't see it or refuses to acknowledge it.

    December 3, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. Bedtime for Obonzo

    Follow the money....

    "State government needs, such as more police, teachers, and emergency response personnel" -> Union members.

    Unemployment benefit extensions, food stamps, extended health benefits -> Democratic voters without jobs.

    December 3, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  23. Susan

    Can Dems do anything without spending us into oblivion?

    December 3, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  24. Hammerer

    Dems want to try to buy votes for 2010. They should listen to the voters. No more stimulus (handouts), no healthcare they are trying to ram through, more honesty (fat chance).
    The voters will speak in 2010, unless the congress forces action before and then, who knows.

    December 3, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  25. Greg in MO

    Jobs bill? I thought the stimulus money was supposed to pay for jobs.

    December 3, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
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