DRAFT: Recommended PAI Supported Legislation – October 28, 2011

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Political Action & Impact

Current legislation under consideration for OWS PAI support/endorsement

October 28, 2011

American Jobs Act (revised) 2011

In the Senate as S. 1660

Waiting on revised version to be posted on thomas.gov.  Senator Majority Leader Reid’s (D – Nevada and the bill’s sponsor) staff said the updated version should be available online by Monday, October 31.

According to Senator Bernie Sanders (I – Vermont) office this bill is likely to be up for a vote next week.  I was advised to call/check back Monday for updated Senate calendar.

Contact Senator Sanders:

332 Dirksen Building

U.S. Senate

Washington,D.C. 20510

Phone (202) 224-5141

Fax (202) 228-0776

Contact Senator Reid:

522 Hart Senate Office Bldg

Washington, DC 20510

Phone: 202-224-3542

Fax: 202-224-7327

 NOTE:  Phone calls are best – staff of both offices, in my experience, have been very patient and helpful

Additional Information about this bill:

Here is the original text of bill (again a revised version should be available soon).

Recent The Hill article about American Jobs Act (S. 1660)

Congressional Budget Office report (short version) on S 1660 here

Senator Sander’s poll about jobs/how to create jobs here

Suggested action that can be taken at this time:

  1. Read the bill – education is the first step!
  2. Call bill sponsors with specific questions – Legislative staff is typically helpful and patient – and they are there for we the people – it is your right to ask questions.
  3. Contact your Senator or Representative make sure they know you are a voter and constituent and demand it be passed.  Contact them in both their DC office and regional offices.
  4. If you are in DC or can get to D.C. visit your legislator’s office to express your support for this bill.  You are also free to visit any Senator or Representative’s offices.  They are quite often very nice.  Senator Harkin’s (D-Iowa) office gave me popcorn and Senator Schumer’s (D-NY) office offered me a peanut butter sandwich.
  5. Even better, if you are in D.C. bring a signed letter (or letter with multiple signatures) to every Senator in support of this bill.  (Tip:  the last time I was there, the security guard gave me a bit of a hassle about dropping off letters – telling me any letters had to go through the congressional post office.  This FYI is not true.  Senator Gillibrand’s (D—NY) staff told me nope – not true.  So, when the security guards ask what you are there to do tell them simply to visit your Senator’s office.)
  6. Contact your state Senators telling them you support this bill’s passage and that you want him or her to relay that message to the US Senator.  State Senators are typically easier to get through to and whether they admit it or not – with enough people calling – they can get your US Senator’s ear.
  7. Contact Senators that are not in support of this bill.  Especially your personal Senator.  No matter what their party affiliation – they still represent YOU.

National Infrastructure Bank Act of 2011 - These bills are not immediately in line for debate or votes.  Both of these bills have been referred to committee(s) in respective houses of congress.  They have not yet been rated by the CBO or marked up.  They are currently not on subcommittee calendars for hearings.

In the House of Representatives as H.B. 3259

Click here for full text of bill

Sponsored by Rep. Fudge (D) Ohio

There are currently no co-sponsors

Status:   Referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and in addition the Committee on Financial Services

In the Senate as S.B. 1550

Click here for full text of bill

Sponsored by Senator Brown (D) Ohio

Co-sponsored by Senator Reed (D) Ohio

Status:   Referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

Contact Senator Brown:

713 Hart Senate
Office Bldg.

Washington, DC 20510

p (202) 224-2315

f (202) 228-6321

1301 East Ninth St., Suite 1710

Cleveland, Ohio 44114

p (216) 522-7272

f (216) 522-2239

Toll Free 1-888-896-OHIO (6446)

Contact Rep. Fudge:

1019 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

Phone: (202) 225-7032

Fax: (202) 225-1339

4834 Richmond Road, Suite 150

Warrensville Heights, OH 44128

Phone: (216) 522-4900

Fax: (216) 522-4908

NOTE:  Phone calls are best – staff of both offices, in my experience, have been very patient and helpful

Top-line of bills:

To create federal “bank” to loan money to qualified infrastructure projects throughout the U.S. under one of these categories:

  • Mass transit system
  • Public housing property
  • Road or bridge
  • Freight or passenger rail
  • Airport or air traffic control systems

Money available per year:  $5 billion/year through 2015

Matching funds required

Repayment of loan required beginning 5 years post project.  There are caveats for deferments and forbearance and default.

Selection committee appointed by President – with restrictions on nominees during service:

  • No member can be affiliated with infrastructure project
  • Cannot hold stock in company affiliated with infrastructure project
  • Cannot hold public office/elected
  • Cannot serve/be employed by any infrastructure project for two-years post committee membership

[PAI Group recommended improvement membership selection process]

  • No member will have been a lobbyist
  • No member can have served on a board of any bank or in any other capacity (CEO, etc.) under investigation by State Attorney’s General.

Preference of approval given to projects (partial list):

  • In high unemployment areas
  • Promotes economic growth
  • Projects that substantially leverage State, local and private financing, including public-private partnerships
  • With environmental benefit

Suggested action that can be taken at this time: 

  1. Read the bill – education is the first step!
  2. Call bill sponsors with specific questions – Legislative staff is typically helpful and patient – and they are there for we the people – it is your right to ask questions.
  3. If you support this bill, call subcommittees to request hearing(s).  You have to be persistent – these people have a lot going on but they can be quite responsive.
  4. Contact your Senator or Representative, make sure they are aware of this bill, that you support it and want it to come to a hearing.
  5. Encourage others to get involved.

Additional websites for information:

Track all bills:  www.thomas.gov

Find your Representative: http://www.house.gov/

Find your Senator: http://www.senate.gov/index.htm

Congressional Budget Office: http://www.cbo.gov/  (Scores legislation and offers opinions on fiscal impact)

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