Last October, I said that climbing out of this economic recession wouldn't be easy and it wouldn't happen overnight -- but it was critical that we acted quickly to help keep Americans working. Congress responded by passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in January.
Today, most economists agree that we pulled the economy back from the brink of catastrophe. But frankly, stopping a depression isn't enough. We need a sustained recovery that is felt in our homes and businesses.
There are some indications of recovery (though the most important signs are in your paycheck and home values): Consumer spending has increased, home sales are at their highest levels in 9 months, factories are reporting increased shifts, and job losses have declined by two-thirds since January. I'm not saying that prosperity is around the corner; I am saying that we are starting to head in the right direction.
Still, we need continued and demonstrable progress on tax stability and job expansion. I have worked to ensure that my constituents are getting their fair share back. Here's how some of the money is coming home:
* $15 million for the Long Island Clean Cities Coalition to help build alternative fuel stations
and put alternative fuel vehicles on the road in Nassau and Suffolk Counties
* $4.9 million for infrastructure repairs in Babylon and Islip
* $4.8 million for roadway upgrades on Jericho Turnpike and the Sunken Meadow Parkway
Not only will these investments put people to work and generate economic activity -- they also address critical challenges like reducing our dependence on foreign oil and rebuilding our infrastructure. Though these signs of recovery are promising, we still have more to do.