House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says Democrats are working on a two-pronged jobs-creation legislative plan, part of which would include infrastructure spending. She says that she would like to see the not-yet-introduced legislation passed by the end of this year.
Pelosi told reporters Dec. 3 that Democrats are working on a "safety net" bill that would extend unemployment and health benefits, as well as legislation to fund infrastructure projects and provide financial help to fiscally strapped states.
Pelosi also said she would like to fund the infrastructure-state fiscal aid proposal by tapping unused Troubled Asset Relief Program money. She did not specify how much funding the package would provide.
But House Republican Leader John Boehner (Ohio) said that using TARP funds to pay for the legislation Pelosi is considering would be "a very big mistake."
Boehner said at a Dec. 3 press conference shortly after Pelosi's that "The TARP money was intended to solve an economic emergency in the financial sector." He added, "It should be used to lower the budget deficit and the national debt."