Friday, November 18, 2011

Rubio may have solution for gridlock on jobs bills

Earlier this week, I posted an interview with Representative Sandy Adams, in which she expressed House Republicans' frustrations about how they had passed over twenty jobs bills, but the Senate had yet to approve any of them, or even allow them to be discussed.

Well, at least two Senators are willing to start the ball rolling. Florida Senator Marco Rubio, teaming up with Senator Chris Coons (D-Delaware) in a bipartisan effort, has sponsored the "American Growth, Recovery, Empowerment, and Entrepreneurship Act" - aka "The AGREE Act." 

The American people deserve solutions to create jobs, not more Washington gridlock and excuses. The AGREE Act is a meaningful step to find common ground and create a better environment for job creators to start businesses or expand existing ones. This kind of effort will be a real test of whether Washington has enough people who aren’t just willing to say they will work to find common ground but will actually prove it through their actions.
- Marco Rubio
While the AGREE Act does not go as far as many House Republicans would like, it does incorporate several important provisions that both Republicans and Democrats have said they would support. From the press release from Rubio's Senate office:

If enacted, The AGREE Act would do the following:
  • Provide a three year extension of 100 percent bonus depreciation for the full cost of qualified investments such as equipment and property.
  • Provide a three year extension of Section 179 expensing levels for small businesses.
  • Provide a three year extension of eliminated taxes on certain small business stock.
  • Extend the Research & Development tax credit until 2013, increase the Alternative Simplified Credit (ASC) from 14 percent to 20 percent, and makes the ASC permanent.
  • Establish an enhanced research credit for domestic manufacturers to encourage job creation at home.
  • Provide veterans with a tax credit equal to 25% of the fee associated with starting a franchise up to $100,000.
  • Provide a five-year exemption from Section 404(b) of Sarbanes-Oxley for the first five years of a company going public, or for those below $250 million in total gross revenue (whichever comes first).
  • Eliminate the per-country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrant visas and adjusts the limitations on family based visa petitions from 7% per country to 15%.
  • Protect intellectual property by clarifying the Trade Secrets Act, and making it explicitly clear that it is not a crime for federal officials, in the performance of their duties, to share information about suspected infringing products with the right holder of a trademarked good.

Here's Senators Rubio and Coons delivering a joint floor speech in support of their bill:

...and their interview with Neil Cavuto on Wednesday:

YouTube | SenatorMarcoRubio | Senators Rubio and Coons Team Up and Promote AGREE Act on Cavuto

What do you think? Do you think this bill is a good first step, or that it doesn't go far enough? Do you think the provisions of the bill will help create jobs?

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