Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Proposed bill promises to create more jobs for the youth


Graduating college students might have jobs to look forward to if President Barack Obama’s American Jobs Act passes through Congress, according to the Democratic National Committee.

Yesterday, the DNC held a conference call for student journalists to discuss President Obama’s American Jobs Act.

The conference was hosted by Kalpen Suresh Modi (commonly known as Kal Penn) and DNC Chair and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. Wasserman-Schultz debriefed student journalists on the content of the bill, and afterwards, Modi took questions from the call’s participants.

Reaching out to student journalists is part of an initiative that the DNC are trying to push, according to Wasserman-Schultz. She explained that the youth vote has always been a powerful one for the nation, citing her own election to Congress as an example.

“Young people have always been an important voice in the Democratic party,” said Wasserman-Schultz. “It’s important that a voice for young people is heard. We need to make sure we’re motivating young people.”

During the conference call, Wasserman-Schultz said since the 2008 financial crisis, college students are facing significant challenges as they try to secure post-graduate employment She also said the DNC plans to help control this negative trend, and that the American Jobs Act will help college graduates find a job quickly after graduation.

“It makes sure there are the jobs of the future,” said Wasserman-Schultz. “Young people don’t want to wait for any more political games.”

“Giving assistance is going to make it more hospitable for younger workers,” Wasserman-Schultz also said.

Modi relayed similar sentiments.

“It’s something quite different from what young people had to face before,” said Modi. “[It will] create jobs for young people to help boost the economy”

Wasserman-Schultz criticized Republicans’ and Democrats’ processes and conflicts as they examine this bill.

“We need Republicans to understand the importance of working together,” said Wasserman-Schultz.

The bill has created a wide debate between the two political parties, with the Republican side detesting the bill. Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert created a separate American Jobs Act bearing the same name as Obama’s bill, which failed to be presented to Congress before Gohmert’s bill.

One of the conference call’s participating student journalists asked Wasserman-Schultz and Modi whether they felt Obama’s bill could be considered “dead on arrival.”

Wasserman-Schultz said in response that because of partisan conflicts the political atmosphere for the bill was difficult.

“It’s what the American people are looking for,” said Wasserman-Schultz early-on in the conference. “No excuse for Congress not to pass it right away.

“It will create jobs now,” she added. “As soon as Congress passes it, employers will be able to hire more workers.”

Wasserman-Schultz said she felt the bill needed to be passed because “it puts more people back to work” and “it wouldn’t add a dime to the deficit.”

Wasserman-Schultz’s statements echo the fact sheet on the White House’s Web page. According to the Web page, “the purpose of the American Jobs Act is simple: put more people back to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans.”

The American Jobs Act, according to the White House’s Web site, would accomplish numerous of unresolved tasks for the nation. One of these includes modernizing over 35,000 schools. Some of the improvements made to the schools include emergency repair and renovation projects, greening and energy efficiency upgrades and asbestos abatement.

Wasserman-Schultz is the first Jewish Congresswoman to be elected in the state of Florida, while Modi is popularly known as the actor from the “Harold and Kumar” movies and a brief stint on the television show, “House, M.D.”

Journalists from three different newspapers contributed questions to the conference call, including reporters from the Harvard Crimson of Harvard University, the Daily Californian of UCLA-Berkeley and the Cavalier Daily of the University of Virginia.

Herb Scribner can be reached at [email protected].


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