Three Things You Didn’t Know Were in Obama’s Jobs Bill

It’s no omnibus spending bill. But President Obama’s American Jobs Act contains more than just the tax cuts and retention bonuses that have made headlines.

Buried deep within it are several provisions that seemingly have little to do with job creation. Here are three of them:

1. Establishing an “Infrastructure Bank”

What is it: President Obama wants to spend $10 billion to create a new infrastructure bank, the American Infrastructure Financing Authority (AIFA). AIFA would provide loans for infrastructure projects.

How likely is it to create jobs: New civil service jobs would be created as part of AIFA, but beyond that, there are no guarantees. It could be years before candidate projects make their way through the approval process.

2. Permanently Giving the FCC Authority to Auction Wireless Spectrum

What is it: Section 275 grants the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) permanent authority to auction wireless spectrum, something it can only do now until September 2012.

How likely is it to create jobs: Spectrum auctions could generate $12 billion for the government, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The government is presumably hoping that buyers will create new wireless services, eventually generating new engineering jobs.

3. Establishment of Public Safety Broadband Network

What is it: Section 281 would create a new government agency to create a “public safety broadband network“. It would be a nationwide wireless network to replace the various FM radio frequencies used by emergency responders.

How likely is it to create jobs: Establishing the agency would create additional civil service jobs, but further job gains would be dependent upon private sector companies, and could again be years off.

These are perhaps admirable long-term initiatives. But they are unlikely to create jobs quickly outside of the civil service, and will likely earn the wrath of Republicans.

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