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Rebecca Blank, the acting secretary of the federal Department of Commerce, met with university researchers and local business executives Wednesday in a visit to Toledo.
She toured the University of Toledo Clean and Alternative Energy Business Incubator, a program aimed at helping local clean energy companies grow. The incubator has had a regional economic impact of more than $700 million since 2005.
Ms. Blank touted President Obama’s American Jobs Act, even though it was defeated Tuesday in the U.S. Senate. She said individual parts of the bill have a good chance of getting passed.
The administration contends the act would cut taxes on small businesses and consumers, and help pay for jobs for teachers, firefighters, police officers, and construction workers.
In Ohio alone, 200,000 companies would benefit from cutting the payroll tax and 14,200 teachers and first-responders would be rehired in the state, Ms. Blank said. The bill also extends unemployment insurance, which would benefit 80,000 people in Ohio, and cut payroll taxes in half, for an average savings per family of $1,430.
“Outside experts say the American Jobs Act would put nearly 2 million people to work, while putting more money in the pockets of workers and repairing infrastructure vital to enhancing America’s competitiveness,” the acting secretary said. She called for Republicans to join Democrats in passing the legislation.
Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican, labeled the jobs bill a second stimulus bill that would have “pushed the country further into debt while not creating the jobs and economic growth promised.” He said the administration was offering temporary solutions rather than structural ones. He called for “tax reform, smart regulatory relief, robust domestic energy production, an aggressive new trade policy that expands exports, better worker retraining to create a competitive workforce, and a credible plan to rein in Washington’s record debt and deficits.”
Ms. Blank on Wednesday also hosted a White House Business Council roundtable meeting, and she met with the editorial board of The Blade.
Contact Tom Troy at email@example.com or 419-724-6058.