Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Marco Rubio's jobs bill bipartisan, incremental

WASHINGTON — With Congress' ability to pass substantial jobs legislation trapped in the jaws of partisanship, Sen. Marco Rubio is going for baby steps.

The Florida Republican on Tuesday introduced a jobs package he and a Democratic co-author say would boost small businesses and send a signal to the public that Washington is moving on some fronts.

"We're not claiming this bill is earth-shattering," Rubio said. "What we did is very simple. We sat down and said, 'Okay, let's find all the things that Republicans, Democrats, the president and everybody agrees on, and let's pass those things.' "

He crafted the proposal — the American Growth, Recovery, Empowerment and Entrepreneurship Act — with Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del.

The AGREE Act would extend for three years a measure allowing businesses to depreciate the full cost of qualified equipment and property purchases; extend by three years a tax break on some small business stock; extend a research and development tax credit to 2013; provide veterans with up to $100,000 in tax credits for starting a franchise; and allow more highly skilled workers in the country, among other measures.

Rubio and Coons stressed that the ideas were drawn from both parties and "job creators." To emphasize that point, they were joined at a news conference by Steve Case, a former AOL executive who is a member of the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

Jobs bills are flying around the Capitol these days, so Rubio and Coons' prospects are unknown. The legislation has not yet been evaluated by the Congressional Budget Office for its cost.

Rubio and Coons hit the cable TV news circuit Tuesday evening (and plan a trio of appearances this morning) to pitch their plan.

"The provisions are generally positive," said Dan Mitchell, an economist for the libertarian Cato Institute, who reviewed the plan at the Times' request. "Lower tax rates on investing are key for job creation. Temporary tax cuts usually are not effective because businesses and entrepreneurs generally don't make permanent decisions to expand output and hire more workers based on short term tax provisions. But the Rubio-Coons proposal addresses this problem by using three-year windows. Not perfect, but much more likely to boost growth."

Dean Baker, a liberal economist with the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said the proposal does "almost nothing. It makes slightly more generous provisions that are already in current law. It's very hard to see how it has much impact."

Rubio seemed to be everywhere in Washington Tuesday. He was the guest at POLITICO's "Playbook Breakfast" interview series, held the jobs news conference, then sat down for a wide-ranging talk with Florida reporters. A few of his responses:

• On whether military action would be justified against Iran. "The idea of Iran having a nuclear weapon is so catastrophic that there is virtually no price too high to pay to prevent it from happening." He would not say whether he thinks military action should be taken now, however, adding, "You always hope sanctions will work."

• On whether the tea party will still exist in four years. Yes, he said. "Because the things the tea party believes in, which is a constitutionally limited role for government, it's not going to go away. It will continue to be a vibrant force in American politics."

• On the chances of the GOP presidential nominee winning Florida. "Good. I think at least 50/50, given the circumstances. But that vote's going to have to be earned."

• On whether he'll seek the vice presidency. No, he said. "Because I'm focused on my job in the Senate. What's wrong with the Senate? "

Marco Rubio's jobs bill bipartisan, incremental 11/15/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 11:18am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally

    Business

    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees

    Politics

    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  4. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact

    World

    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  5. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.