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Grand Rapids Mayor asking Congress to pass President Obama’s American Jobs Act

Steven Depolo
Creative Commons

Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell says the $450 billion jobs bill is “crucial” for Michigan. His comments are part of a campaign to get Congress to act on the American Jobs Act.

 “We know we have to be strong and stand on our own but we also know that we’re not able to keep up with infrastructure needs in our community,” Heartwell said during a White House press conference Friday.

Obama has been urging Congress to pass the jobs bill “right away” since he sent the bill to Congress two week ago. But so far, Congress hasn’t taken any real action on it.

Heartwell highlighted several things in the bill that would benefit communities in Michigan.

  • 180,000 Michigan firms would receive a payroll tax cut
  • $901 million in transportation improvments
  • $945 million to pay for 12,000 teachers, police and fire responders
  • $696 million to hire construction worker to fix up vacant and foreclosed homes
  • $157 million funding to community colleges
  • Tax relief for workers 

“This is an important shot in the arms for cities all over America,” Heartwell said, “Once the money is available and is being spent in the community it’s up to us to ride that momentum through to strong economic recovery.”

Lindsey Smith helps lead the station'sAmplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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