Today we learned that employment fell by 539,000 jobs in April. Each of those jobs lost directly affects a family, bringing daily struggles and difficult decisions.
The latest jobs report marks the sixteenth consecutive month of decline. However, this is the fewest number of jobs lost in one month since October 2008. I believe the actions taken by Washington are slowly helping to turn our economy around. I wish it could happen faster, but as President Obama has said, it will take time.
Clearly, we have more work to do. But this weekend, as we celebrate America's mothers, I wanted to share with you some of the things Congress has done this year to help mothers and families across the country.
FOR OUR MOTHERS
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act: Restores the right of women and other workers to challenge unfair pay in court. Specifically, it rectifies the May 2007 Ledbetter v Goodyear Supreme Court decision that overturned precedent and made it much more difficult for workers to pursue pay discrimination claims. This was the first major bill to be signed into law by President Obama.
The Recovery Act: Includes a series of provisions that benefit America's mothers, including the following:
- Working Families Tax Cut - Ninety-five percent of working families received a tax cut on April 1, 2009. This includes millions of female-headed households.
- Child Care - Families in need can receive additional childcare assistance from the state while they are working, seeking employment or taking job training/educational classes.
- Healthcare - Prevents devastating cutbacks in Medicaid coverage that millions of women and children rely upon. Also provides funding and grants that will help to ensure more underserved Americans receive the vaccines they need.
- Nutrition - Provides additional benefits for families taking part in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program.
- Jobs - Opens up new employment and training opportunities for women in non-traditional fields like infrastructure, energy efficiency, rural broadband development, and science.
FOR OUR GRANDMOTHERS
The Recovery Act: Includes a series of provisions that will benefit seniors, including the following:
- Economic Recovery Payments for Seniors - Provides a $250 payment to millions of America's seniors receiving Social Security. Payments began going out this week, and will continue for the rest of May. (Please see sidebar article to the right for answers to frequently asked questions about these Recovery payments for seniors.)
- Senior Nutrition Programs - Provides $100 million for senior nutrition programs, including congregate meals and home-delivered meals. These programs are expected to provide nearly 14 million additional meals to seniors in need.
- Protecting Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries - Extends the Qualified Individual (QI) program, which assists certain low-income Medicare beneficiaries with their Medicare Part B premiums.
- Preventing Certain Scheduled Cuts in Medicare - Blocks a scheduled Medicare payment reduction to teaching hospitals, and a scheduled Medicare payment reduction to hospices.
FOR OUR CHILDREN
Health Care for 11 Million Children: Renews and improves the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) - preserving coverage for 7 million children currently covered by CHIP and extending coverage to 4 million uninsured but eligible children. This was the second major bill to be signed into law by President Obama.
The Recovery Act: Includes a series of provisions that will benefit children, including the following:
- Education - For young children, key investments are made in Head Start and Early Head Start programs. School age children benefit from additional funding for K-12 education programs and facilities. College age students are now eligible for higher Pell Grant rewards.
- Child Support Enforcement - State programs that establish, enforce, collect and distribute child support received additional funding that will help single parents make ends meet.
Again, I know that there is much more work to do, but as you celebrate your mothers this weekend, I just wanted you to know that my work in Congress celebrates them too.
Member of Congress
Ohio's Sixth District