Democrats aren’t calling it a new economic-stimulus bill, but momentum is growing in Washington for a new measure aimed at producing more jobs, which would give the economy a lift. Proposals being floated include a new round of federal funding for highways and other infrastructure, probably in the tens of billions of dollars. If the public-works spending becomes a reality, it would provide welcome relief for the construction industry, whose unemployment rate remains the worst among major U.S. business sectors.
The drive for a new jobs bill following the nearly 10-month-old American Recovery and Reinvestment Act received a strong boost on Dec. 8 when President Obama outlined what he would like to see in such a package. His plan would include public-works funding, tax breaks and other help for small businesses and spending on energy-efficiency work.