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Public Statements

Providing For Consideration Of H.R. 4849, Small Business And Infrastructure Jobs Tax Act Of 2010

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. LEE of California. I want to thank my colleague, the gentleman from California, for yielding and for his tremendous leadership on this bill.

I rise in support of the rule and, of course, the bill, H.R. 4849, the Small Business and Infrastructure Jobs Tax Act of 2010. I want to especially thank Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Levin, Chairman Rangel, Chairman McDermott, and the staff of the Ways and Means Committee, and our staff, for working with my colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus to ensure that this legislation targets those hardest hit by the recession.

The members of the Congressional Black Caucus have been laser-focused on stimulating our economy and creating jobs, especially for the chronically unemployed. As my colleagues know, we are in the midst of a 5-week campaign launched at the beginning of this month to seek policy solutions for the chronically unemployed. We are working together with President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Reid, and all of our leadership and Members of Congress and our coalition partners on a strategy to put America back to work.

One of the key components of our proposed jobs package was to seek an extension of TANF emergency contingency funds for 1 year with an appropriation of $2.5 billion. This valuable program was originally authorized in the American Recovery and Relief Act for a total of $5 billion to help fund certain targeted categories of TANF-related expenditures, including basic assistance, nonrecurrent short-term benefits, and subsidized employment. Put simply, the TANF emergency contingency fund allows States to leverage Federal dollars to subsidize private company wages by providing States with an 80 percent reimbursement rate for their increased TANF expenditures in these categories.

Back in December, we communicated with President Obama and our Speaker and raised the importance of extending the TANF emergency contingency fund, among other priorities. Earlier this month, Chairman McDermott also held a hearing on TANF within his subcommittee and highlighted the importance of extending the emergency contingency fund. This was another important moment that reinforced the Congressional Black Caucus' call for an extension and helped generate the momentum we needed to move this important provision forward.

I was also pleased to have had the opportunity to be before the Rules Committee yesterday and testify with Chairman Levin in support of the manager's amendment and the TANF extension. In addition to the extension, the manager's amendment also allows TANF money to be used for subsidized jobs for people who have run out of unemployment insurance benefits. Ultimately, the TANF emergency contingency fund will create jobs by helping businesses hire, manage, and train new employees by paying part of wages and costs.

As the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, I am pleased that we could move this critical bill forward. Taken together, this provision and the bill overall is another important step towards spurring economic growth and creating jobs, particularly for the chronically unemployed. Business tax cuts alone won't work.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.

Mr. CARDOZA. I yield the gentlewoman an additional 15 seconds.

Ms. LEE of California. Thank you very much. The Congressional Black Caucus has a very sustained and focused effort to create jobs and economic opportunities, and this is but one step forward in our efforts.

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