Blank also meets with local business leaders as part of White House Business Council outreach effort.
Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank traveled to Aurora, Colo. today where she joined Governor John Hickenlooper for a visit to the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, which houses both the University of Colorado Hospital and Children’s Hospital Colorado, as well as the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Dental Medicine, Pharmacy and Public Health.
At Anschutz, Blank discussed details of President Obama’s American Jobs Act. Blank highlighted the different ways the plan could make an immediate impact on job creation: cutting taxes for small businesses, putting more money in the pockets of consumers through an expanded payroll tax cut, and preventing the layoffs of teachers, firefighters and policemen, while putting construction workers to work through much-needed renovations to school, roads, rail and airports renovations. Blank underlined the need for Congress to act quickly on the bipartisan measures in the Jobs Act.
The plan would:
- Slash the payroll tax in half for 98 percent of businesses, benefitting 130,000 Colorado companies;
- Allow localities to avoid laying off teachers, firefighters and cops – 7,000 in Colorado alone;
- Modernize at least 35,000 public schools, supporting renovations across the country and as many as 3,400 jobs in Colorado;
- Put the long-term unemployed – a group that totals 98,000 in Colorado – back to work by making the most innovative reforms to unemployment insurance in 40 years;
- Extend unemployment insurance, preventing 5 million Americans, including 33,700 in Colorado, from losing their benefits; and,
- Cut payroll taxes in half for 160 million workers next year, giving the typical Colorado family a $1,740 tax cut.
“Outside experts say the American Jobs Act would put nearly 2 million people to work, while putting more money in the pockets of workers and repairing infrastructure vital to enhancing America’s competitiveness,” Blank said. “It’s time for Democrats and Republicans in Congress to come together and pass the Jobs Act.”
Blank also underscored the steps the administration has already taken to boost research and development funding for universities and research institutions, like Anschutz, which has become a hub of innovation, spinning off life-changing discoveries that result in new businesses and billions in economic value. The campus currently employs approximately 16,500 people, which supports an additional 20,000 jobs in the greater Denver region.
Additionally, Blank hosted a White House Business Council roundtable meeting with local business leaders to discuss the American Jobs Act in further detail, challenges facing America’s business community, ways to improve U.S. economic competitiveness and the help that is available to businesses from agencies across the federal government.