Congresswoman Shelley Berkley today joined her colleagues on the House Ways and Means Committee at a hearing in Washington, D.C. on the need for a new Main Street economic recovery package that will help Nevada families and small businesses.
"This hearing only confirms the need for swift action on a new economic recovery package and I will be pushing to see that it includes funding for more infrastructure projects like roads and freeways," said Berkley, who traveled back to Washington from Nevada to attend the hearing.
"Experts tell us that for every $1 billion we invest in infrastructure, 47,000 more jobs will be created. Nevada's unemployment rate has already reached record levels, so job creation must be a priority when we move to pass any recovery package. I also support extending unemployment benefits and food stamp eligibility as ways to help families put food on the table and keep a roof over head. Nevada and other states should also receive extra help when it comes to covering healthcare costs through programs like Medicaid. These are all investments we can make that will improve lives, create jobs and help our economy at a time when so many are struggling in Las Vegas and all across our nation," said Berkley.
Today's hearing was part of a series of actions taken by Congress to further examine the economic pain facing families and the need to move forward to rebuild economic security. Witnesses appearing before the Ways and Means panel included elected representatives from state and local governments as well as economists and experts in various policy fields related to economic stimulus. Throughout the hearing, witnesses cautioned against the dangerous budget shortfalls facing state and local governments and the need for immediate assistance to avoid further harm to working families.
Among the economic recovery initiatives discussed during today's hearing:
· Extension and possible expansion of unemployment benefits
· Assistance to states dealing with shortfalls for healthcare funding
· New infrastructure investments
· Education projects to enhance learning opportunities for students and to repair crumbling schools
· Steps to strengthen pensions and protect retirement savings