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Berkley Urges Passage Of Broad Stimulus Package

Location: Washington, DC

Berkley Urges Passage Of Broad Stimulus Package

Tax Relief for 950,000 Nevadans, Clean Energy Incentives, Unemployment Aid Included in Legislation

Congresswoman Shelley Berkley today spoke on the House floor in favor of a broad economic stimulus package now being debated in Congress. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, H.R. 1, would extend unemployment benefits, provide clean energy incentives and deliver tax relief to more than 950,000 Nevadans through the "Making Work Pay" tax credit. Debate on the package is now taking place in the House with a vote anticipated on the final package Wednesday. Berkley's floor remarks are as follows:

"Until recently, Nevada had lower than average unemployment and was experiencing rapid growth. However, Nevada's economy, fueled by construction and tourism, has suffered greatly during the current recession.

Las Vegas currently has the highest foreclosure rate in the nation. This has led to drastic drops in home values, and thousands of construction workers in my district are without work.

At the same time, the number of passengers flying into Las Vegas dropped 7.7% from 2007 to 2008, the largest drop in more than 25 years, and hotel occupancy rates are likewise declining.

Just a year ago, unemployment in Nevada was at 5.8%. While this may seem low by today's standards, this was already a 5 year high at the time. Today, the unemployment rate has skyrocketed to 9.1%.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will create or save 4 million jobs over the next two years. In my district, thousands of construction workers will be put back to work improving infrastructure, building renewable energy facilities, improving school buildings and generally strengthening the future of our nation.

The bill will also provide extended unemployment benefits, healthcare subsidies and other benefits to those struggling through this recession until things can turn around.
Nevada and the Country need the jobs and other support provided by this bill. I urge my colleagues to vote for H.R. 1."

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