We received an email from the NY State Republican Party today, taking on Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on her efforts with the Upstate Works Act. The focus of the email is NY GOP chairman Ed Cox rebuking Sen. Gillibrand for her attack on Republican NY State Senators, but we were interested in the Upstate Works Act. What was that?
The Upstate Works Act, or S 3787, was introduced on 9/4/10. At the time it received little fanfare. In fact it was not followed at all. According to Open Congress
The lack of attention seems warranted as the Bill itself was ignored by the entire Senate in 2010. There are no co-sponsors to the Bill. Not even NY Senator Charles Schumer bothered to co-sponsor the Bill, and it died.
What did the Bill do?
“A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to extend and modify the benefits available in empowerment zones and other tax-incentive areas, to require the Secretary of Commerce to establish a program for the award of grants to States to establish revolving loan funds for small and medium-sized manufacturers to improve energy efficiency and produce clean energy technology, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a tax credit for farmers’ investments in value-added agriculture, and for other purposes.”
It sounds like a quite helpful Bill. New York State could certainly use many of the proposed benefits. Likewise, we imagine, so could several other States across the nation. But somehow it just died with a whimper.
But on November 15, 2011, Sen. Gillibrand announced a new version of the Bill.
“My Upstate Works Act rejuvenates our manufactures to make New York the clean energy capital of the world, gives working adults access to new training to prepare them for the jobs of the future, and helps our family farms get ahead. No other state can lead the way to the new economy like New York, and my upstate Jobs bill taps into New York’s full potential.”
The New Bill is S 1895, though it now has the name Build America Bonds to Create Jobs Now Act of 2011. The title does sound better. But the question is if it is any better, or well received, than the last attempt by Sen. Gillibrand?
Take a guess.
Yes, once again the Bill was introduced on 11/16/11. As of this article, there has be exactly 0 support. It has made no motion through the Senate. It has no co-sponsors. Once again, even Senator Chuck Schumer is absent any support. Of course there was also no media coverage of the Bill.
Which brings up the point, if no one knows the Bill exists – even if it is the greatest thing since sliced bread – does it matter? If Sen. Gillibrand were to highlight this as one of the many Bills she has supported and sponsored in Congress, and is a justification for her re-election, shouldn’t she also mention that it was abandoned by the entire Senate. Is it really doing your job if Bills you create are unknown, and without support?
If the Upstate Works Act taps the full potential of New York State, as Sen. Gillibrand stated, is the lack of interest or support – even from the other NY Senator – mean that the potential of NY is meaningless? Does it mean that progress in the New York economy has no impact on the national economy?
Does the complete lack of usefulness of this Bill, in 2010 and again in 2011, mean that Sen. Gillibrand is inadequate to the responsibility of a Senator? Especially since it would appear she could not even convince Sen. Schumer of the worth of the Bill.
For the record, Sen. Gillibrand has sponsored 59 Bills (ranking 4th in the Senate), of which 0 have become law. She has co-sponsored 255 Bills (6th in Senate), of which 3 were made into law. An impressive record it is not.
We have sent the following letter to Senator Gillibrand. We will provide any response VERBATIM.
I would like to ask you about the Upstate Works Act that you have now sponsored twice (2010 and 2011).
In each instance the Bill has had no coverage from the media at large. It has failed to get co-sponsorship from any other member of the Senate. That includes NY Senator Charles Schumer. It has died in the Senate, going no further than introduction.
Can you please explain why the Bill gathered no steam, each time? Can you please explain why even the media paid no attention to this Bill?
Seperately, can you explain that of the 59 Bills you have sponsored, not one has become a law?