Economy
8:59 pm
Thu September 15, 2011

US Agriculture Secretary in Pittsburgh to Tout Jobs Act

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is in Pittsburgh today to rally support for the job creation bill recently proposed by President Obama.

Secretary Vilsack said the plan would put people back to work immediately if it's adopted by Congress. The American Jobs Act would cut the payroll tax in half, a measure Vilsack said would encourage small businesses to hire more employees.

The agriculture chief said the plan would also fund repairs on the nation's most deteriorated transportation infrastructure, putting construction workers back on the job. Money would also go to state governments for the retention and rehiring of teachers and first responders.

Vilsack said the plan would create jobs without adding to the country's long-term debt.

"Well, it takes a look at the tax code. There are a number of what are called loopholes that need to be closed, a number of preferences that have been given that need to be changed," said Vilsack. "Taking those resources that can help us stimulate small business growth and expansion, new job opportunities, modernizing and rebuilding the infrastructure of this country."

Additionally, Vilsack said the plan would offer unemployment insurance to those looking for work.

Vilsack said President Obama is hopeful that both parties can support the Jobs Act, which he said includes ideas from both Republicans and Democrats.