From the inbox, statement from Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-08) on the stimulus package:
After a year where we witnessed more than 3.6 million jobs lost, Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-8th District) voted today to take urgent action and help our ailing economy recover. Rep. Murphy voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which is estimated to create or save 143,000 jobs in Pennsylvania and 7,800 jobs right here in the Eighth District. The measure will create these important jobs, cut taxes for businesses and home buyers, improve education, health care and encourage growth in the green technology sector. This legislation comes at a time when our country faces dire economic straits. The plan lays out swift and bold steps to save or create 3.5 million jobs nationally, and provide hundreds of dollars in tax relief to 95 percent of American workers. This bill will strengthen schools, modernize our health care system, make it easier for students to go to college and update our ailing infrastructure for the 21st century and make it easier for families to buy a home. In the last year, the United States has lost millions of jobs, hundreds of thousands of families have lost their homes and the savings and retirements of millions are at great risk. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will provide immediate and direct tax relief to working families, help create jobs and modernize the Pennsylvania infrastructure through roads, bridges, schools and broadband. The plan will also invest in 21st century energy, health care and local law enforcement.
“We need to put Bucks County back to work. This vote ensures that we create or save almost 8,000 jobs in the Eighth District as well as providing help to thousands of ailing homeowners right in our community,” said Congressman Patrick Murphy. “We have lost millions of jobs in the last year and the road to recovery may not be easy or brief – but we have to act. If we continue to make the tough choices and work together, we will emerge with an even stronger economy.”
“Economists agree – something must be done. That’s why I voted to act swiftly and boldly on behalf of hard-working families who want to get or keep their job, stay in their home and send their kids to good schools,” added Murphy.
Job Creation: The recovery package is the first crucial step in a concerted effort to create and save 3.5 million jobs, jumpstart our economy, and transform it for the 21st century.
Tax Cuts to Make Work Pay and Create Jobs: We will provide direct tax relief to 95 percent of American workers and spur investment and job growth for American businesses.
Help Workers Hurt by the Economy: High unemployment and rising costs have outpaced Americans’ paychecks. We will help workers train and find jobs, and help struggling families make ends meet. Every dollar in unemployment or food stamp creates at least $1.63 in economic activity, as these funds are spent quickly.
Unprecedented Accountability: An historic level of transparency, oversight and accountability will help guarantee taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and ensure that Americans can see the results of their investment.
* No earmarks.
§ In many cases, funds are distributed to existing initiatives with proven track records and with tough accountability measures already in place.
§ Website to track how funds are spent, all announcements of contract and grant competitions and awards, and formula grant allocations.
Clean, Efficient, American Energy: To put people back to work today and reduce our dependence on foreign oil tomorrow, we will increase renewable energy production and renovate public buildings to make them more energy efficient.
* More than $20 billion in tax cuts for clean, renewable energy, including a new enhanced tax credit for research and development focusing on smart energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy, and a multi-year extension of the production tax credit for wind, hydro, geothermal, and bioenergy.
Education for the 21st Century: We will enable students of all ages to learn in 21st century classrooms, labs, and libraries to help our students compete with any worker in the world.
* Prevents teacher layoffs and other cutbacks in education and other key services, by establishing a $53.6 billion State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, including $39.5 billion to local school districts using existing funding formulas, which can be used for preventing cutbacks, preventing layoffs, school modernization, or other purposes; $5 billion to states as bonus grants for meeting key performance measures in education; and $8.8 billion to states for high priority needs such as public safety and other critical services, which may include education and for modernization, renovation, and repairs of public school facilities and institutions of higher education facilities.
* Making college more affordable through tax credits for college tuition for up to $2,500 per year of school and increasing the Pell Grant by $500.
Lower Health Care Costs: To save not only jobs, but money and lives, we will update and computerize our health care system to cut red tape, prevent medical mistakes, and help reduce health care costs by billions of dollars each year.
* Provides $19 billion to accelerate adoption of Health Information Technology (HIT) systems by doctors and hospitals, in order to modernize the health care system, save billions of dollars, reduce medical errors and improve quality. Creates hundreds of thousands of jobs – many in high-tech sectors – by promoting the adoption of HIT.
Transform our Economy with Science and Technology: To secure America ’s role as a world leader in a competitive global economy, we are renewing America ’s investments in basic research and development, in training students for an innovation economy, and in deploying new technologies into the marketplace. This will help businesses in every community succeed in a global economy.
§ $10 billion for science facilities, research, and instrumentation – to focus American brainpower on solving the energy and climate challenges and finding cures and treatments for diseases.
§ $6 billion to expand broadband internet access.
Modernize Roads, Bridges, Transit and Waterways: To build a 21st century economy, we must create jobs rebuilding our crumbling roads, and bridges, modernize public buildings, and put people to work cleaning our air, water and land. These provisions in total would create nearly 1.8 million American jobs
§ Provides $27.5 billion for modernizing roads and bridges. This investment creates jobs in the short term while saving commuters time and money in the long term.
§ $19 billion to create jobs on clean water, flood control, and environmental restoration initiatives, which will create more hundreds of thousands of jobs.