America Works or AmWorks is a landmark jobs program created by President Frank Underwood.
AimsThe ultimate aim of the legislation is to create full employment across the United States, with Underwood desiring its scope to be as wide as that of the New Deal. It plans on reducing entitlements from both Social Security and welfare, instead focusing on putting Americans into full-time work.
To show what it could accomplish, he contacted District of Columbia Mayor Barney Hull to declare a "State of Emergency" in DC due to rapid unemployment, allowing Frank to send FEMA money into AmWorks, allowing 40,000 unemployed people to get jobs.
The program was met with opposition from both parties, including Bob Birch, Hector Mendoza and Mendoza's replacement Henry Mitchell. When Congress refused to pass and fund the program, President Underwood utilized a clause in the Stafford Act and declared unemployment in Washington, D.C. an 'emergency'. He additionally fired Secretary of Homeland Security Steven Travers, and threatened Arnold Silva, allowing him to use funds from the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund to finance a pilot program in DC.
In response to this, the Republican controlled Congress began drafting a bill that amended the Stafford Act and would make Underwood's use of FEMA money illegal. This was not needed, as in the wake of Hurricane Faith, Underwood was forced to sign an agreement that would replenish the DRF, on the condition none of it was used to further fund America Works.
Underwood 2016 Campaign
Despite the program being put in hiatus, the successes in Washington, D.C. made America Works a vital rallying point throughout Frank Underwood's campaign for the Iowa Caucus. Underwood uses the objections of Heather Dunbar and Jackie Sharp to his advantage, presenting himself as dedicated to reducing unemployment. Considering Underwood's victory in Iowa, the program could potentially survive in the future.