Congressman Charles B. Rangel on Friday applauded Congressional legislation that looks to create hundreds of thousands of new small business and construction jobs this year, spur private sector hiring, and help rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.
Rangel was a part of the Congressional majority that voted 217 - 207 Thursday night to pass the 15 billion Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act.
"My number one priority is putting New Yorkers and my constituents back to work," said Rep. Rangel. "This legislation will help us create hundreds of thousands of jobs this year, and it's fully paid for to make sure that we do not leave the bill for these investments for the next generation."
February job figures released Friday portray an economy who's jobless rate held stead at 9.7% while only shedding 36,000 non-farm jobs. While the Congressman said that the figures were cause for some optimism, the figures were a bigger sign that more had to be done.
"Far too many families, especially in communities of color, are living under a cloud of hopelessness and despair that being unemployed or underemployed can sometimes bring," said Rangel. "The bill that we passed is an important step in our efforts to not just rebuild our economy but rebuild people's sense of dignity and self-worth."
The HIRE Act is part of a larger Congressional agenda to create jobs and strengthen our economy. It includes a payroll tax holiday for businesses that hire unemployed workers, to create some 300,000 jobs, and an income tax credit of $1,000 for businesses that retain these employees. It also includes tax cuts to help small businesses invest, expand, and hire more workers, provisions to make it easier for states to take up infrastructure projects such as school construction and energy retrofitting, and an extension of the Highway Trust Fund that allows for billions of dollars in infrastructure development around the country.
"This builds on the Recovery Act and our ongoing efforts to create jobs and put our economy on sound footing for the future," said Rep. Rangel "We will continue to work to find common ground in Washington on measures like this that will put Americans back to work this year."
The Recovery Act has already saved or created over 2 million jobs -- rebuilding our infrastructure and economy for global competitiveness. Through the Recovery Act, 95% of working Americans continue to see the benefit of one of the largest tax cuts in history in every paycheck. The House also passed the comprehensive Jobs for Main Street Act to make targeted investments in areas that will grow our economy over the long term -- including highways, public transit, construction, small businesses, job training, and hiring and retaining teachers, police officers, and firefighters.