Representatives Bruce Braley and Dave Loebsack are among 105 co-sponsors of H.R. 4812, the Local Jobs for America Act. The bill "would provide direct funding to local governments to create, restore or save up to one million public and private jobs for the next two years." According to the House Education and Labor Committee, the bill includes "$75 billion over two years to local communities to hire vital staff" and "[f]unding for 50,000 on-the-job private-sector training positions." Some provisions that the House of Representatives approved in separate legislation are included in this bill too, such as $23 billion to "help states support 250,000 education jobs" and extra money for law enforcement and firefighters. Groups endorsing the bill include the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Job creation needs to remain a top priority, because the latest recession saw the most severe employment drop the U.S. has experienced in the last seven decades. Congress recently approved a small jobs bill focused on tax credits and Build America Bonds, but direct support for state local budgets would probably have more stimulative effect. As the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities has warned, government spending cuts "are problematic policies during an economic downturn because they reduce overall demand and can make the downturn deeper." If the federal government can soften the blow for state and local governments, the risk of a double-dip recession will be reduced.
I am seeking comment from Representative Leonard Boswell's office about why he's not co-sponsoring H.R. 4812 and will update this post when I hear back.