U.S. Rep. Travis Childers (MS-01) last night voted to ensure our troops have the equipment and resources they need, and support General Petraeus' efforts. The 2010 Supplemental Appropriations Act also creates a fund to save an estimated 1,663 education jobs in Mississippi, strengthens enforcement on the U.S.-Mexico border, increases Pell Grant funding, and provides critical aid to the Gulf Coast for oil spill recovery efforts.
"Our armed services men and women make great sacrifices on a daily basis, and I express my deepest gratitude for their continued service to our country," said Childers. "Today's legislation will ensure that members of our military have the protective equipment and resources they need to get the job done and return home safely."
The bill also creates a $10 billion Education Jobs Fund to provide additional emergency support to local school districts to prevent impending layoffs. An estimated $98.2 million of the fund will go to schools in Mississippi. It is estimated that this fund will help keep 1,663 school employees on the job in Mississippi next year. In addition, the bill provides $4.95 billion to address the current year shortfall in the Pell Grant Program that was unanticipated last year. Both provisions are fully paid-for by cuts in unnecessary.
"Receiving a good education is the best way for North Mississippians to lift themselves up, especially during economically trying times," said Childers. "This legislation will support teaching jobs throughout the state, helping prevent unemployment and ensure that our children receive the education they need to secure good-paying jobs and contribute to a skilled workforce in the First District. It will also keep Pell Grant funding accessible for Mississippi students. I'm a recipient of a Pell Grant myself, and wouldn't have had the great education I did without one."
To strengthen our national border security, the bill provides resources for 1,200 additional Border Patrol agents, as well as 500 additional Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers, stationed along the Southwest Border.
"In today's tough times, we need to be sure that American wages go into American pockets. By providing the necessary resources to secure our border, this legislation will strengthen national security and protect American jobs.
"The bill will also provide critical assistance to help victims of the Gulf Coast oil spill find new employment and rebuild their businesses. I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure that the Gulf Coast's economy and residents make a full recovery."
To help the Gulf Coast make a full recovery from the devastating oil spill, the legislation provides funding for employment assistance, an oil spill relief employment program, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) oil spill response activities, economic recovery planning, and a long-term risk study.
Additional provisions in the 2010 Supplemental Appropriations Act include:
* funding for the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund
* the payment of benefits to Vietnam veterans and their survivors for exposure to Agent Orange
* $950 million in direct farm loans for family farmers who may not qualify for agricultural credit through other commercial institutions in the tight credit market
* a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to help local communities devastated by flooding this year