Given the heightened emphasis now in Congress on deficit reduction and spending discipline, a proposal by Sen. Sherrod Brown,D-Ohio, to spend tens of billions of dollars more on aid to local communities and states would seem to face an uphill struggle.

Brown's legislation is co-authored with Sens. Mark Begich, D-Ak., and Al Franken, D-Minn. It proposes giving $75 billion in grants to local communities and nonprofit community organizations over two years in grants to "retain services and create new jobs," according to a release by Brown's office about a bill dubbed the "Local Jobs for America Act."

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