WSJ: A Jobs Program the White House, House Republicans Like
For once we may see bipartisanship in D.C.
The White House is working on an economic proposal that House Republicans… wait for it… also support. That may be a man-bites-dog story these days, given the intense partisanship and differing ideologies in Washington.
- House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that as part of a larger jobs package, the White House is likely to propose some version of a program called Georgia Works, which allows people receiving unemployment benefits to receive eight weeks of training at private companies in what amounts to a tryout. The service is free to the companies, and offers a new connection to the workplace for jobless workers.
It turns out this program has also caught the eye of House Republicans. In 2009, House Republicans included the program in a letter to President Barack Obama listing their job-creation ideas. In that letter, the Republicans suggested that the federal government require states to adopt Georgia Works-type programs in order to receive federal unemployment funding.
"This has resulted in faster returns to work, less unemployment payments, and thus lower state unemployment taxes," wrote House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R., Va.) and two of their colleagues.
It's not clear whether the White House wants to require the program for states, or what the scope of the White House plan might be. But there is potential for working together, said Brad Dayspring, a spokesman for Mr. Cantor.
"There would definitely be room for discussion. It was something Eric pushed personally with the president at a White House meeting in December 2009," Mr. Dayspring said. "It is a program that produced results, and we are glad the White House has finally taken notice."
A White House spokeswoman had no comment.
Mr. Obama has characterized many of his other ideas as enjoying bipartisan support, such as extending a payroll tax reduction for workers and creating an infrastructure bank to finance road and bridge projects. But Republicans have shown little interest in either one, and in some cases are opposed outright.