Bernie Sanders Proposes Youth Jobs Act That Would Create Hundreds of Thousands of Jobs

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Sen. Bernie Sanders announced today that he will be proposing a youth jobs bill in the Senate that will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs for the nation’s young unemployed.

In a statement Sen. Sanders said, “At a time when the youth unemployment rate is over 16 percent, and the teen unemployment rate is over 24 percent, we have got to do everything we can to make sure that young Americans have the jobs they need to pay for a college education and to move up the economic ladder.”

Sanders’ bill is modeled after the stimulus, and President Obama’s American Jobs Act. The Youth Jobs Act would provide $3 billion to create hundreds of thousands of jobs for the country’s low income and economically disadvantaged young people. The legislation would also provide skills and job training. The Department of Labor would provide $1.5 billion in grants to states to provide job opportunities. States could also use the money to identify employment opportunities in emerging occupations, or occupations that will help their own communities through the public or non-profit sector. Another $1.5 billion in grants would be given to state and local communities to provide job training and apprenticeship programs. All states would receive a minimum of $15 million for summer and year round jobs. The rest of the funding would be used to target areas of high youth unemployment and poverty.

By making the program a grant instead of a mandate, Sen. Sanders’ plan should appeal to some red states, because they can use the funding as they wish to create programs that will lower youth unemployment. The problem will be the far right extremists in the Senate who will do their best to kill the legislation with claims that the nation can’t afford it. (The same Republicans who killed a jobs program for veterans that was already paid for will likely oppose the Youth Jobs Act for the exact same reason.)

Unlike the Republican plan of growing the economy through tax cuts, Sen. Sanders’ plan is based on things that have been proven to work. Sanders isn’t giving unemployed young people a government job, or a check. He is handing the states the resources that they need to innovate and create new opportunities for the future.

His plan is a great idea, but Republicans have made killing great ideas their top priority.

Congressional Republicans don’t want to do anything to help the economy, and the people suffering through it. Any program that would create jobs is viewed through the partisan prism of giving President Obama a victory, and Obama success is something that Republicans have sworn to block at every turn. Sen. Sanders has given Democrats and the left something to fight for. A weapon to use against the mindless automated obstruction championed by the Republican Party.

Bernie Sanders is providing a ray of hope that there are still people in Washington who want to do the right thing for us. Sen. Sanders is fighting for the nation’s tomorrow. He is giving a voice to our hope for the future, and battling those who rejoice in the economic darkness of the recent past.

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