Today, after improvements aimed at the middle-class were included and receiving commitments from Senator Barack Obama and Congressional Leadership that an economic stimulus package will be a top priority, Representative Sutton announced that she will vote for the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act. Today's package includes stronger provisions for middle-class families and communities, including critical tax relief for families and tax credits to help small businesses and to spur innovation and growth in the renewable energy sector. It also raises the FDIC limit to $250,000, a change that she has advocated for, and ensures mental health coverage parity, a provision that she strongly supports.
Additionally, Sutton will be taking the lead to pass an extension of unemployment insurance on the House Floor today, a stimulus measure she has been pushing for with Congressional leadership. When enacted it will help nearly 35,000 Ohioans who have been hurt by our economic crisis keep much needed benefits.
"Last Monday I voted against the legislation that was presented, because it did little to help the working families of America who have been struggling because of the failed economic policies pursued by this Administration. It is critical that we enact policies that will provide assistance directly to help working families who are struggling, as we deal with the crisis created by the excesses and failures to regulate Wall Street. It is also critical that the taxpayers do not have to foot the bill for the securities that will be purchased under this economic recovery package.
Today, I have the commitment of Senator Barack Obama that enacting an economic stimulus plan to rebuild our nation's infrastructure, spur economic growth and create jobs to directly benefit the American people and our communities will be a top priority for him. Senator Obama has also made it clear that he is committed to fully recouping the taxpayer money that will be used under the economic recovery legislation. Congressional Leadership has made these commitments as well.
Today's legislation is better than the bill presented on Monday. It is not perfect, but it now contains some real relief for American families that I will support. But I can assure you that I will be working with Congressional Leadership and Senator Obama to move a jobs stimulus package through Congress. I committed to continuing the fight to make sure that the economic recovery strategy we will pursue to revitalize our economy will be focused squarely on restoring the middle class and strengthening our communities. Though I think it is necessary to pass this bill to free up credit to help our small businesses and ordinary Americans, it is only the first step to an economic revitalization that must work for the American people."
Senator Barack Obama said: "Congresswoman Betty Sutton has shown tremendous leadership in this difficult time for our country. Her leadership and advocacy have been critical to ensuring that working families, small businesses and our communities will be the central focus of the economic recovery strategy we will pursue. She has worked with both sides of the aisle to improve the recovery package and pass an economic stimulus bill that will help American families. I have committed to her that I will ensure that our economic recovery policies are well managed and that every taxpayer dollar spent is recouped. She also has my commitment that as President, I will work with her to make passing an economic stimulus package a top priority, one that will provide the necessary investments in our infrastructure and our communities to bring good paying jobs to the people of Ohio and our country."
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said: "I want to thank Betty Sutton for her strong leadership to craft a better economic recovery package. I also want to commend her for her work to pass a stimulus package that will help bring renewed vitality to communities across our nation. Without her leadership on the stimulus package and extending unemployment insurance, we would not be in the position we are to continue to push these important initiatives. I look forward to continuing to work with her to improve the economy for the people of America."
Today's legislation includes critical improvements over the previous version including:
· Alterative Minimum Tax: The AMT was originally designed to prevent high-income individuals from evading taxes. But since it was not indexed to inflation, more and more middle class families are being affected. This provides a one year patch to the AMT, protecting 25 million American families, 58,429 of which are in Ohio's 13th Congressional District.
· Middle Class Tax Extensions: The legislation provides important tax relief for working families, including expanding the refundable child tax credit, the deduction for college tuition and extending State and local sales tax deductions.
· Research and Development: These credits will extend critical renewable energy research and development tax credits. These have a track record of spurring innovation and business investment and on average, 70 percent are spent on wages here in the U.S.
· Renewable energy tax credits: These will extend or provide tax credits for renewable energy producers. The solar investment tax credit alone is projected to provide more than 1.2 million job opportunities. By 2016, it is expected to create 8,000 new jobs in Ohio.
· Mental Health Parity: This would require parity in co-payments, deductibles office visits and other benefits between mental health coverage and other health coverage.
· Oversight: Requires Congressional review after the first $350 billion is disbursed. It also requires that in 5 years the President submit to Congress a proposal to recoup from the financial industry any projected losses to the taxpayer.
· Increase in the FDIC limit from $100,000 to $250,000: this will help protect the assets of American families. It will also reassure people that their money is safe in their local community bank and prevent large scale withdrawals