Jobs bill unlikely this year, Sen. McCaskill says during Southeast Missouri tour
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill visited what she called "ground zero in terms of job creation" during a tour of three Southeast Missouri companies Monday.
The Democratic senator visited Sabreliner in Perry County, Procter & Gamble in Cape Girardeau County and Alan Wire Co. in Sikeston.
"I'm taking a lot of my time I'm back from Washington to travel around the state and do one-on-ones with various manufacturing facilities to find out what do we need to do to get government out of their way so we can grow and what do we need to do in terms of federal policies that will help," McCaskill said.
She said it's unlikely Congress will pass a federal jobs bill this year.
"I think it's very doubtful we will do anything that spends money, but there's other things we can do," she said. "We can look at patent reform, we can look at trade agreements as long as they're fair and don't hurt American middle-class workers even more than they've already been hurt. We can look at regulations -- what regulations are absolutely necessary and what regulations are getting in the way of businesses."
McCaskill said advances in technology have allowed manufacturers to produce more without adding more employees.
"In some ways we have been cursed by the technology advances we've had. This facility is a good example," McCaskill said of Procter & Gamble. "Their productivity is way up, but they haven't had a big increase in the number of employees because the technology has allowed them to be so much more productive. That's one of the reasons this has been a jobless recovery."
McCaskill said she has split with her party on many environmental issues she believes would be devastating to Missouri manufacturers.
She said she's been urging the Environmental Protection Agency not to impose any new regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.
The EPA was expected to announce stricter ground-level ozone standards in July but instead postponed them for the third time in a year.
McCaskill said if the delay of new standards means the EPA will come up with a reasonable one, then she supports the delay.
"Some of the environmentalists want us to be able to turn off coal right away or do some of the ambient air quality stuff right away when the technology is not here to allow us to convert to a cleaner form of emissions," she said. "If the technology isn't here, all those regulations would do is ship those jobs to other countries that don't have those regulations."
Highway 177, Cape Girardeau, MO