Rep. Judy Chu (D-El Monte) released the following statement today in response to the American Jobs Act plan that President Obama unveiled in his speech to Congress tonight:
"The President is doing the right thing by refocusing Congress and making job growth our top priority. It is a message that Speaker Boehner and his leadership would be wise to heed. We need leaders who look out for the American people and create jobs, not cut them. We need leaders who will truly do something about the economy, and not just promote corporate interests and protect the rich.
"The President's plan is not just crucial for our nation and for our state, but also for the San Gabriel Valley. Extending unemployment insurance is critical not only for Californians, who are suffering from the second highest unemployment rate in the country, but for my constituents, many of whom live in cities where the unemployment rate exceeds even the statewide 12 percent rate," Chu added. "Unemployment insurance is a good investment because it goes right back into the economy, when people buy groceries or pay their rent.
"The President's focus on infrastructure jobs is also a boon to California because over the last year, just in the Los Angeles area, 5,400 construction jobs were lost. That is second only to Las Vegas, Nevada. The idea of fast-tracking key transit and roadway projects, and repairing 35,000 of our schools, makes absolute sense. The thousands of jobs this program would provide, and the untold benefits stemming from it, from increased productivity from reduced travel times to more state-of-the-art education facilities for our children, make for an ideal and immediate solution to our economic woes.
"And his plan to give aid to state and local governments couldn't come at a better time for our state, given our dire budget situation. Our teachers, police officers, and firefighters need to be on the job and stay on the job to maintain a safe and economically viable California."