On September 8th, President Obama addressed a Joint Session of Congress and proposed the American Jobs Act to “to put more people back to work and more money in the pockets of those who are working.” The legislation includes several proposals that relate to priority issues in The Arc’s legislative agenda. These include reductions to the payroll taxes paid by employers and employees. Payroll taxes fund the Social Security Trust Funds; to ensure solvency, any payroll tax reduction must be offset by additional revenues directed to the Trust Funds. The legislation also proposes a tax credit of up to $4,000 for businesses that hire people who have been unemployed for at least 6 months – a group that includes many people with disabilities.
Finally, the President stated that on September 19th, he will release a deficit plan to cover the costs of the American Jobs Act and to stabilize the nation’s debt in the long run. The President stated that the plan will be balanced and will include “modest adjustments to health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid.”