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Hoyer: Democrats to Move Jobs Package This Year

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) is confirming that House Democrats plan to move a jobs package in the next few weeks as the chamber turns its attention from a health care overhaul to soaring unemployment. Hoyer said Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has tasked committee chairmen with making suggestions about what should be included in the package and may try to speed passage by avoiding separate committee markups. The No. 2 House Democrat said a range of proposals are on the table: everything from a likely extension of unemployment benefits to job tax credits, infrastructure spending and assistance to states struggling under budget shortfalls. The move comes just as the nation’s unemployment rate rose above 10 percent.Hoyer said he expected the measure to be more targeted than the $787 billion stimulus bill that lawmakers approved in February but declined to target a price tag. And it is not yet clear whether the plan will be paid for, in whole or in part. “As you know I’m very concerned about the long-term fiscal impact,— he said. “But the long-term fiscal impact of the bill will not be helped if we have continuing lack of dealing effectively with the jobs issue in America and bringing unemployment down and getting people back on employment rolls.—

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