Policy Update: September 9, 2011

American Jobs Act

On September 8th, President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress to lay out his new jobs agenda. The plan, called the American Jobs Act, calls for new spending and tax cuts totaling near $450 billion, and it includes an extension of the cut in the payroll tax, new infrastructure projects, and changes to unemployment insurance. President Obama proposed to pay for the jobs package through an increase in spending cuts negotiated by the deficit reduction “super committee.

Deficit Reduction "Super Committee"

The twelve-member Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction met for the first time on Thursday to adopt procedural rules for the Committee’s work over the next six weeks. Under the rules:

  • An agenda must be provided no less than 48 hours before any meeting;
  • Bill text must be available no less than 24 hours before any meeting;
  • Hearings must be noticed at least one week in advance, and witnesses must provide testimony two days before any hearing;
  • Seven members will constitute quorum; and
  • Each hearing and meeting will be open to the public — though that will not preclude the panel members from negotiating in private.
  • In this inaugural meeting, the Committee indicated that it may draw from policy proposals that have been developed by previous deficit commissions and negotiations. Several Committee members also called for a higher savings target than the $1.2 to $1.5 trillion provided under the Budget Control Act.

    Continuing Resolution

    Congress has yet to pass the FY 12 spending bills to fund the federal government beyond the end of the current fiscal year. The House has therefore scheduled a vote on a stopgap continuing resolution (CR) that would extend Fiscal Year 2011 discretionary spending levels through the late fall. The CR is intended to give Congress additional time to work on an omnibus appropriations measure or individual appropriations bills for the remainder of FY 2012.

    We will continue to advocate on behalf of the university on topics such as financial aid, research funding and other related federal programs.