At a Capitol news conference, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the program’s architect, joined with more than a dozen members of the House Democratic caucus to announce the agenda, which includes more than 30 pieces of legislation or legislative agenda items.
“Our premise is that America has been and continues to be the land of opportunity,” Hoyer said Wednesday. “Americans psychologically are saying, ‘We’re not on the right track. We’re not doing what we ought to be doing.’ And we want to make sure that, as their forebears who came to America and thought that they could make it in America, they too can make it in America, and their families can make it in America.”
The way to do that, Hoyer continued, is “to create an environment and policies that encourage and realize that we make ‘it’ — products, agricultural products as well — that we make goods in America.”
The plan is comprised of several items — many of which have been previously promoted by House Democrats — including the creation of a national infrastructure development bank; reform of the corporate tax code; an expansion of the research and development tax credit; and patent and currency reform. It also includes items related to education, clean energy and federal regulation.
House Democrats’ formal unveiling of the plan comes one day after Senate Republicans released their own jobs agenda. That means that the minority parties in each chamber have now released a jobs plan — while the parties in power have yet to do so.
Asked Wednesday what he thought of the Senate Republican plan, Hoyer said he welcomed it, although he argued that more needs to be done on the House side.
“I’m pleased to see the Republicans come out with a jobs plan,” Hoyer said. “I think that’s a positive sign. After four months, in the House, we have not yet considered a jobs bill. Not one. And we think that’s not consistent with what the American people are saying.”
Hoyer said that he has been talking with Senate Democratic leaders about the jobs agenda, although no concrete plans have been established yet.
In a statement Wednesday evening, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) expressed support for the plan, arguing that “now is the time to level the playing field.”
“By beefing up our manufacturing sector, investing in our infrastructure, and forcing countries like China to play by the rules, the legislation proposed by my Democratic colleagues in the House will boost our economy and bring jobs back to America where they belong,” Schumer said.
Like the Senate Republicans’ jobs agenda, however, it’s unclear how far the House Democratic plan will progress in the lower chamber.