U.S. Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) today authored a letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), urging that he work with Democrats in Congress to pursue a comprehensive jobs plan to put America back to work. During his first term in Congress, Cicilline has advocated strongly for the House Make it in America agenda, which would help to reinvigorate American manufacturing.
The full text of Cicilline's letter is embedded below:
Dear Speaker Boehner,
Since arriving in Congress last year, I have joined many of my colleagues in asking that the House Republican leadership focus on the urgent need to create well-paying jobs across our country. But time after time, the House has taken the politically expedient route rather than a practical course of action.
In my home state of Rhode Island, more than 60,000 workers are without jobs. Over the past 18 months I have met with small business owners in East Providence, manufacturers in Pawtucket and Lincoln, middle class families, students, seniors and more from every stretch of my district from Woonsocket to Newport. They have told me stories of struggles and challenges that no American should bear, and they have told me they are losing hope that Washington can help fix our economy and support those most in need.
That is why I am writing to you today. As we prepare to return home for the August recess next week, I urge the House Republican Leadership to use this period to negotiate in good faith with President Obama and Democratic Leadership in the Senate and House to reach agreements on the most pressing issues facing American families, so that when we commence session in September, Congress can quickly and fairly address the urgent needs of businesses, families, and men and women in Rhode Island and throughout the nation.
First, we must act now to extend tax cuts for the middle class. Republicans and Democrats agree on the importance of extending these middle class tax cuts and they should not be held up while we do the hard work necessary to overhaul our tax code and engage in meaningful deliberations on the extension of other expiring tax provisions. According to estimates provided by the President using Treasury Department data, if Congress fails to extend middle class tax cuts approximately 400,000 Rhode Islanders could see an increase in their taxes. As my state continues its efforts to overcome the effects of the Great Recession, the last thing our hardworking middle class needs is a tax increase.
In addition, the House needs to work together, across the aisle, and with the Senate to pass a comprehensive jobs plan that will put people back to work right now. We have bipartisan legislation pending in a number of committees aimed at reinvigorating American manufacturing, strengthening small businesses, and rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure -- all of which could help the economic recovery in Rhode Island and throughout the United States. I urge you to advance initiatives with bipartisan support such as H.R. 110, the Manufacturing Reinvestment Account Act; H.R. 871, to make the Research & Development Tax Credit permanent; H.R. 1325, the AMERICA Works Act; H.R. 639, the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act; and legislation creating a national infrastructure bank, among others, to support our manufacturers, small businesses, workers and job seekers during these challenging times.
As I indicated in my letter to you in January of this year, I once again want to underscore the fact that while Democrats and Republicans may disagree on the best approach and the appropriate role for government in creating jobs, it is the responsibility of this institution to bring a variety of proposals to the floor, to engage in the necessary debate and exchange of ideas, attempt to find common ground, and reach agreement on initiatives that will put Americans back to work.
Too much time in the 112th Congress has been wasted focusing on political jockeying and preparing for the November 2012 elections. Instead of providing constituents with the most effective, productive and cost-efficient government possible, too many in Congress have instead focused on sharpening divisions and undercutting serious proposals to get our country back on track. I hope that you will take this opportunity to put country ahead of party and get America back to work.
My best always,
David N. Cicilline
Member of Congress