Today, U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson voted for emergency legislation to save and create over 5,700 education jobs and jobs for first responders, by closing tax loopholes that encourage companies to ship jobs overseas and invest outside of America.
The House reconvened today to pass this legislation after the Senate finished work on the bill last week. The bill, known as the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act, reduces the deficit by $1.4 billion over 10 years according to estimates by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
"This is essential in helping us protect Illinois jobs. This bill will help us save Illinois jobs, keep class sizes down, keep people off the unemployment rolls, and will reduce our deficit by stopping the incentives that lead companies to ship jobs overseas," said Halvorson.
"This is a win win for American workers and American taxpayers who want to see us continue tackling the budget deficit."
The bill will provide approximately $415 million for 5,700 Illinois education jobs. Funds must go towards covering salary and benefits for existing employees or to rehire employees already released. These funds cannot be used for administrative expenses, utilities, renovations or transportation. The bill also provides approximately $550 million in Medicaid funding to help Illinois cover its $750 million shortfall in its Medicaid budget. With Medicaid being nearly a quarter of the state budget, without this funding the state could be forced to implement further budget cuts that would result in layoffs for firefighters, police and other first responders.
This bill is paid for in part by closing tax loopholes that incentivize companies to ship jobs overseas. Under current law, income earned overseas is sheltered from U.S. taxation. This income is often kept overseas permanently, paying for jobs for overseas workers. This bill will ensure profits earned by companies overseas are treated on a level playing field, to help us bring investment home to America.
"I've heard clearly from my constituents -- they don't want our tax policies incentivizing jobs for foreign nationals. Investment needs to come home here to America, and this bill will help us stop the incentives that lead to jobs going to foreign countries instead of right here at home," said Halvorson.
The legislation has now passed the House and Senate, and now goes to the President for his signature.