STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY
S. 1723 – Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act of 2011
(Senator Menendez, D-New Jersey, and 9 cosponsors)
The Administration strongly supports passage of the Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act, which will keep teachers in the classroom, police on the beat, and firefighters at work. The President sent these proposals to the Congress as part of the American Jobs Act and as a way to save jobs and get the economy growing again.
Although the recession officially ended in June 2009, declining revenues and the tapering of support from the Recovery Act meant budget cuts and hundreds of thousands of layoffs at the State and local levels. Additionally, in the coming school year, many school districts will have to make another round of difficult decisions that will cost jobs and put the education of the Nation’s children at risk.
S. 1723 provides States with $30 billion in relief to support almost 400,000 educator jobs nationwide next year – stopping as many as 280,000 teachers from being laid off and allowing school districts to go beyond that to rehire teachers or add new ones. S. 1723 also provides $5 billion to support the hiring and retention of public safety and first responder personnel. By supporting such jobs, the plan aims to keep communities safe from crime and able to maintain critical emergency response capabilities. S. 1723 is fully paid for through a surtax on those Americans making over $1 million per year. What is most important is putting Americans back to work right now and making sure the debt is not increased over time – and doing so in a way that is fair. S. 1723 meets that test.
By enacting S. 1723, the Congress and the President can work together to save jobs, protect children’s education, and keep communities safe. The Administration urges prompt and favorable action.