In addition to President Barack Obama, a Connecticut union is putting pressure on U.S. Senators to take up his jobs plan.
Local union members, advocates, and local elected officials gathered Thursday outside New Britain High School to call on U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman to vote for the American Jobs Act.
“We need to get our economy moving again and the best way we can do that is by creating jobs,” Susan Truglio, president of the New Britain Federation of Teachers, said. “The American Jobs Act will do just that by putting educators back into our classrooms and millions of others back to work, put more money in the pockets of working Americans, help small businesses expand and grow, and rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, including our public schools.”
Truglio estimated that Obama’s jobs plan would put 280,000 teachers laid off by state budget cuts, first responders, veterans, and construction workers back to work.
Lieberman was unavailable for comment, but one of his staffers said he would vote to proceed with the bill, but was skeptical of some of the proposals, including the tax increases.
“The time for political games is over,“ Sal Luciano, executive director of Council 4 AFSCME, said. “Senator Lieberman should work together with the President to pass the American Jobs Act and get Connecticut’s economy moving again.”
Luciano’s national organization has been fighting in favor of the legislation. It launched a web page and Facebook page in support of it.
The web page offers a Ustream feed of the bill sitting on a desk. Underneath the video it says: “House GOP leader Eric Cantor says the American Jobs Act is dead on arrival. Our live webcam shows he’s wrong — the bill isn’t dead, it’s just not moving.”
Senate Democratic leadership met with the White House on Thursday to go over their strategy for how to proceed with a vote.
According to Politico , Republicans are opposed to the tax increases and spending in the plan and despite the slight Democratic majority in the Senate the GOP is well-positioned to block it since 60 votes are needed to break a filibuster. Democrats only have 53-members in their caucus.
“We call on Senator Lieberman to do the right thing and join the rest of the Connecticut delegation in calling for the passage of the president’s jobs plan as a down payment to putting America back to work,” Tom Swan, executive director of Connecticut Citizens Action Group, said.
The rally Thursday in support of the president’s plan was the first in Connecticut.
“We will work to ensure that our Congressmen and Senators hear from us and put America back to work,” Jim Amato, president of AFSCME Local 1186, said.