As the House considered the economic recovery package for the second time today, Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-11) cast his vote in support. The package passed the House by a vote of 263-171. Rep. McNerney released the following statement in response.
"I am just as angry and frustrated as many of those who have called my office that we had to consider this recovery package. But I voted for it because my constituents' 401Ks, their life savings, and the ability to take out car, home and student loans hang in the balance.
"I've heard from ordinary people and small businesses all across my district that are feeling the effects of the declining availability of credit.
"There's a car dealership owner from Southern Santa Clara County who has been forced to lay off several employees and, in order to avoid further layoffs, has made the hard choice to cut back on his community contributions and participation.
"Or the constituent who called my office to let me know that his daughter may no longer be able to afford her college education because even though she was approved for a student loan, the bank that guaranteed it will do so no longer. Now the family is forced to scramble and try to find a loan from another bank to finance her final two years at UC Berkeley, but may not be able to.
"Then there's the fast food franchisee with three restaurants that employ a total of 60 people. They are about to remodel all three stores, as the parent corporation requires, and would typically rely on a line of credit. Unfortunately, they can't get a loan and are forced to deplete their entire cash reserves, putting them in a very precarious position.
"And now we're hearing that because California is so short on cash and can't get a short-term loan, it may seek $7 billion from the federal government to finance state operations. Failure to secure the funds may mean scheduled payments to 1,000 school districts statewide won't take place and state employees could be laid off.
"This Economic Recovery Package is critically important for our nation and protecting ordinary Americans.
"The Economic Recovery Package also included important renewable energy tax credits for wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and other types of clean energy. Extending these tax credits will mean not only saving 100,000 renewable energy jobs that currently exist, but creating more stable, family-wage jobs over the coming years. In fact, extending the solar tax credit alone will mean 1.2 million jobs over the next eight years in all different sectors supporting the construction and maintenance of solar facilities.
"According to UC Berkeley professor Dan Kammen, who testified a couple weeks ago in front of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, three to five times as many jobs are created through investments in renewable energy than in fossil fuel energy. The extension of the investment and production tax credits today will mean even more renewable energy jobs in the future."