Economic Recovery Bill will Create Jobs and Help New Jerseyans Hard Hit
U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) issued the following statement tonight after he voted in support of H.R. 1, the Economic Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009. The legislation passed the House by a vote of 244 to 188.
"Tonight, the House acted quickly and boldly to address the economic recession that appears to be getting worse every day. This economic package will be welcome relief to American families and businesses, as well as state and local governments, who have all been suffering during this deep recession.
"During a week when American businesses announced that more than 70,000 workers would be laid off in the near future, the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act will create or save 3 to 4 million jobs, including more than 171,000 jobs in New Jersey.
"By making significant investments in America's transportation and infrastructure, renewable energy, schools, broadband technology and health care, we are not only creating and saving good-paying jobs, but we are transforming our economy for the long-term.
"For almost a year now, I have been working to provide states additional federal assistance to help them with their increasing Medicaid costs. Right now, almost every state is experiencing a budget crisis and governors are struggling to find ways to close these budget gaps. This legislation provides states $87 billion so they are not forced to scale back their Medicaid programs and can continue to serve those in need. The legislation will provide New Jersey $2.1 billion to help Governor Corzine meet his promises to our state's low-income families.
"This legislation will create jobs and strengthen our economy for the future by investing billions of dollars in our state. It will also help New Jerseyans who have suffered most during this recession. Here are some examples:
* $1.5 billion in infrastructure investment. New Jersey has 153 ready-to-go highway and bridge projects that total $1.64 billion.
* $1.7 billion for state fiscal stabilization funds. These funds will help local school districts, public colleges and universities and other high priority needs such as public safety and other services.
* $502 million for Pell Grants
* $420 million for Education Modernization, Renovation and Repair
* $65 million for Employment & Training Grants
* $27 million for Community Services Block Grants
* $38 million for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP)
* $18 million for Education Technology Grants
* $5.2 million for Elderly Nutrition Services
"It is going to take time to turn this economy around, but Washington cannot afford to sit on the sidelines as millions of workers lose their jobs, retirement savings dwindles and consumer confidence hits record lows. I hope the Senate follows our lead and passes this legislation quickly so that we can begin fixing our nation's very troubled economy."