U.S. Senate candidate and Indiana Congressman Joe Donnelly, D-In., is challenging the bi-partisan super committee to use their power to force action on job creation.
The 12-member panel is charged with finding an additional $1.5 trillion in debt savings over the next decade. If the committee fails to come up with a deficit reduction plan then $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts to domestic and military spending will kick-in.
But Donnelly wants the group to put an emphasis on funding job creating ideas, such as fair trade programs to get Indiana’s 8.7 percent unemployment rate down.
Asked if he supports President Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan helps, Donnelly says he does, but there’s more to be done to address the poor economy.
“You know there are portions of it that are extraordinarily helpful such as the road and bridges part, and then there’s discussions as to how do we do the financing of it,” says Donnelly. “And so, I think the president’s jobs act is a part of an overall discussion that I think can really put people back to work in our state and in Kentucky as well.”
Donnelly is vying for the Democratic nomination to run for the seat currently held by veteran U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-In., who faces a tough Tea Party challenger in the GOP primary next year.
The congressman has suggested the super committee invest in infrastructure projects, work training programs and offer businesses tax incentives for hiring and retaining employees. The plan also recommends keeping energy production dollars from going overseas.
He won’t guarantee the super committee will reach an agreement everyone will like, however, Donnelly is confident they’ll avoid across-the-board cuts to domestic and defense spending.
“I am hopeful that the work being done—and I stay in almost daily contact with members of the super committee—that the work being done is going to lead to moving our country forward, addressing the deficit situation and also moving us forward in terms of putting people back to work,” he says.