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Senate Republicans Kill Infrastructure Jobs Bill

Jeremy Sprinkle
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Once again, Richard Burr votes to obstruct

It seems only in the United States Senate does the majority not rule.

By a vote of 51-47 on Thursday, Senate Republicans voted unanimously to kill the Rebuild America Jobs Act on procedural grounds requiring 60 votes to advance the bill. It was the third time in a month that Senate Republicans - including our own Richard Burr - have blocked legislation that would create hundreds of thousands of jobs for Americans.

The Rebuild America Jobs Act would have done three things:

  1. Immediately invest $50 billion in rebuilding our roads, bridges, rails, and airports
  2. Create a National Infrastructure Bank and seed it with $10 billion to fund future projects
  3. Levy a 0.7% surtax on income in excess of $1 million, affecting just 0.1% of taxpayers to fully fund the bill (i.e., zero deficit spending)

About that surtax: a taxpayer reporting $1.1 million in income would have had to pay the tax only on $100,000 - amounting to just $700 a year. Only 3,455 of the very wealthiest North Carolina taxpayers would have been affected. Then again, that does include our millionaire senator, Richard Burr.

So to protect himself and the top 0.1% of taxpayers, Richard Burr voted to kill a jobs bill that would have put hundreds of thousands of out-of-work construction workers back to work, not to mention the millions more American workers, small business owners, and state and local governments which would have directly benefited from the increased economic activity and improved infrastructure.

Can there be any doubt whether Richard Burr and Senate Republicans stand with the 1% and not the 99%?

Previously in jobs-killing votes...

On October 10, Senate Republicans voted to kill the entire American Jobs Act submitted by President Obama, there again using the filibuster to require 60 votes instead of a simple majority to advance the bill. In response to this obstructionism, the American Jobs Act was split into its component parts, including the infrastructure bill Richard Burr helped kill yesterday.

Last week, Richard Burr voted with every other Republican Senator to block the Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act, a bill would have provided federal aid to the states and saved 400,000 teacher, firefighter, EMT, and police jobs. That bill would have been paid for by an even smaller surtax of 0.5% on millionaires.

America wants to work, but Republicans in the United States Senate are putting millionaires before jobs. That is unacceptable.