In the few days of Senate debate over the Gang of Eight bill, Sanders delivered several floor speeches that were almost bitterly critical of the legislation’s economic effects. The bill will cost jobs and reduce the standard of living of millions of low-skilled Americans, Sanders argued. His was the most vocal and persistent criticism of the bill from the left.
So how to make him happy, or at least less unhappy, with the legislation? Allow him to put in a few features of his own. A press release from Sanders’ office put it this way: “Sanders had argued that helping unemployed American young people was the least Congress should do in a bill that allows college students from around the world to take jobs that young Americans would otherwise perform.”
According to Sanders, each state would receive a minimum of $7.5 million to run a summer jobs program for young people in 2014 and 2015. States with high youth unemployment would receive a lot more. Many of the bill’s provisions are based on President Obama’s American Jobs Act, which Congress never passed. Sanders claims it would be paid for by “imposing a temporary $10 fee on employers who hire guest workers and international workers who receive green cards.”