U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) joined a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives in approving a second economic stimulus package that would provide a much-needed investment in our Nation's infrastructure to help hasten an economic recovery. The President has threatened to veto the bill, H.R. 7110, which passed the House late Friday by a 264-158 vote.
"As a long-time member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, I have led the fight to use infrastructure investment to revitalize the economy," said Rahall. "By building upon the air, road, and rail transportation systems that literally keep the economy moving, this package would help create jobs and spark economic growthespecially here in West Virginia, where the need is great and the opportunities are plenty. It is my hope that the Congress and the President can reach a quick agreement to help put these dollars into the economy to speed up a recovery."
The House Stimulus Package includes:
* Highway Infrastructure: $12.8 billion, for our nation's aging highways and bridges, to improve safety and reduce traffic congestion.
* Transit: $3.6 billion to purchase buses and equipment needed to expand public transportation and to make improvements to facilities and $1 billion to meet growing demand for public transportation due to higher gas prices while reducing American gasoline consumption.
* Airport Improvement Grants: $600 million, for projects to improve safety and reduce delays at our nation's airports.
* AMTRAK: $500 million, to make necessary upgrades to tracks and stations so that Amtrak can meet growing demand due to high gas prices.
* Corps of Engineers: $5 billion to invest in the nation's water resource infrastructure with improved flood protection, navigation and hydropower and to increase the efficiency of existing water infrastructure.
* Fixing Crumbling Schools: $3 billion to repair crumbling schools, provide students with first class technology, and to improve energy efficiency.
* Medicaid Assistance: Provides a temporary increase in the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for Medicaid health costs, with increases from one to four percent, at a time of increasing enrollment. These funds will prevent cuts to health insurance and health care services for low-income children and families, as well as generate business activities, jobs, wages and State sales tax revenues that States would otherwise not see.
* Clean Water: $7.5 billion for drinking water and sewer projects including $6.5 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and $1 billion for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund to repair, rehabilitate and expand water systems, many of which are over 50 years old and $300 million for Bureau of Reclamation water projects, including $98 million to provide clean, reliable drinking water to rural areas and $126 million to ensure adequate water supply to localities impacted by drought.