Earlier this afternoon, a number of concerned citizens, labor leaders, business and academic experts came together in St. Louis to discuss the growing jobs crisis in our country as well as how we as a nation can put Missourians back on the job.
At the heart of the roundtable discussion was call for our elected officials to pass the American Jobs Act. Including a number of initiatives that have broad bipartisan support, the American Jobs Act has provisions that will assist Missourians in finding work, paying the bills and stimulating the economy.
Gary Elliott of the Eastern Missouri Laborers' District Council had a crystal clear message for Missouri's congressional leaders:
[T]he American Jobs Act should be passed as well as the Highway Bill. We need both. The first responders and teachers included in the jobs bill are just what this country needs. We have to invest in our community or improvements are never going to come to fruition and the jobs crisis will continue.
Repeatedly, speakers reinforced that investing in infrastructure - such as repairing our crumbling bridges and roads, putting first responders such as police and firefighters back to work, and ensuring teachers are in the classroom with the resources they need - would allow for our economy to recover by putting money in the wallets of workers who will in turn put money back in their communities.
Unfortunately, even while Missourians were sending a message loud and clear to legislative leaders, Senator Roy Blunt yet again voted against infrastructure investment and jobs by voting no on the Rebuild America Jobs Act. By a vote of 51 to 49 with all republicans voting no, Blunt again showed he is willing to vote to protect tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires while leaving Missouri's workers out in the cold.