Rep. Doris Matsui Votes to Reinvest in the Economy
Today, Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-05) voted in support of H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. President Obama's job creation package is expected to create or save 3.5 million jobs, with an expedcted 7,800 jobs in Sacramento. The bill passed the House by a vote of 246-183. The Senate is expected to take up the bill later this evening.
Congresswoman Matsui spoke in support of the bill, below are her remarks as prepared for delivery:
"M. Speaker, it is clear that our economy is in peril. For months, the House of Representatives has been working to develop solutions to revive the job market, keep people in their homes, and restore faith in the American economy.
"We have held substantive hearings and markups. We have debated the merits of different proposals. We have listened to nonpartisan expert testimony on what the Federal government can do to save the jobs we have and create millions more.
"I have listened to this debate and I have weighed the opinions of the experts. But when I consider the package before us today, I think mainly of the people in my district who are suffering. I think of families in my district who are living on food stamps. I think of seniors who can no longer afford to see the doctor when they are sick. I think of the new mother who has just been laid off, and who is not sure if she can pay her mortgage next month.
"I think of Francisca Monterjano. Francisca lost most of her 401(k) when the stock market crashed last year. She lined up outside Raley Field earlier this month along with thousands of my constituents, eager for part-time work even though she is retired.
"Francisca and the rest of my constituents have spoken, M. Speaker. And they have told me clearly - we need this package. We need the unemployment benefits and increased access to health care that it represents. We need the 3.5 million jobs it will save and create, 7,800 of these jobs will be in my district alone, and many of these will be in the clean energy industry that will drive our future economy.
"We need the public transit and flood protection infrastructure that the bill will provide, of which we expect almost $4 billion in funding to go to California. We need the investment in primary and secondary education that will help train our children to work in the jobs of the future. And we need the tax relief that the bill contains.
"Today's package is the product of compromise and negotiation, M. Speaker. It is not perfect. Yet, the state of our economy is too bleak not to act now. Millions of people across our country are suffering too much for this House to shy away from its responsibility to lead.
"Now is not the time for partisan bickering or for political gain. Now is the time for action, for courageous leadership. And so today, I choose to lead by casting my vote in favor of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act."
This jobs and economic recovery plan will:
* Create or save 396,000 jobs in California over the next two years to address the 9.3% state-wide unemployment rate;
* Provide a Making Work Pay tax cut of up to $800 for 12,420,00 California workers and their families, designed to start paying out immediately into workers' paychecks, as well as tax cuts to spur businesses large and small;
* Transform our economy with clean, efficient, American energy and innovation and technology that will create more than 1 million jobs;
* Lower health care costs and improve care by computerizing medical records, which will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, and helping those who cannot afford health care in these tough times;
* Modernize roads and bridges to create jobs with nearly $2.6 billion for California, along with other critical infrastructure like high-speed rail, the boldest investment since the creation of the interstate highway system a half century ago. Total infrastructure funds likely to be available for California are $4 billion;
* Education for the 21st Century, modernizing schools and making college more affordable with improved Pell Grants for the 744,236 Pell Grant recipient in California and a higher education tax credit for 522,00 students in our state;
* Helping Workers Hurt by the Economy, including the 1.7 million in California that are out of work, those who have lost their health care, and seniors; and
* Saving the Jobs of teachers, police officers, health care workers, and protecting the vital services they provide.