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Providing For Further Consideration Of H.R. 1, American Recovery And Reinvestment Act Of 2009

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. MATSUI. I want to thank the gentlelady from New York for yielding me time, our leader on the Rules Committee.

Madam Speaker, everyone here knows the dire state of our economy. I have talked with and listened to many of my constituents in Sacramento who are struggling to make ends meet. They are facing layoffs, furloughs, foreclosure, unpaid medical bills and a lack of support to help them in this crucial time.

Last month, the Greater Sacramento unemployment rate rose six-tenths of a point to 8.7 percent, the highest monthly job loss since 1993. Approximately 4,700 jobs were cut in the region just that month. And also last month, the State of California suffered the third biggest monthly job loss since the end of World War II.

That is why my colleagues and I have been working to develop this economic recovery package. This package includes historic investment in clean technology, transportation infrastructure, flood protection and our children's education. It also goes to great lengths to assist our States in these difficult times with unemployment, Medicaid and COPS funding.

These investments will help important priorities in my city and region as well as across the State. Sacramento needs urgent funding to strengthen levees on the Sacramento and American Rivers, make renovations at Sacramento State University and our local schools, invest in Sacramento Regional Transit's light rail and bus, improve the terminal at Sacramento International and work to improve Sacramento Municipal Utility District's electric grid. We also have progress to be made on the downtown intermodal station and the accompanying relocation of the downtown rail lines.

I am glad that all of these important projects will be eligible for funding under this package. Each project will improve our city and create jobs that will stimulate the economy. This legislation will go to great lengths to help Sacramento's 8.7 percent unemployment rate. I also understand that Sacramento will receive, actually California will receive about $4 billion in education funding, something our State desperately needs.

Another key investment in this package is our Nation's broadband. It is unacceptable that our country has progressively fallen behind in broadband deployment. This new investment will ensure that every American can access information so they can achieve the American Dream.

Of significant importance to Sacramento is flood protection. The constant threat of flooding makes it more urgent than ever that the Federal Government commit to flood protection infrastructure. I am encouraged that this bill includes $2 billion to fund the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Construction account. This money will help restore levees in my district and other flood control infrastructure across the country.

I know that there needs more to be done especially in the Natomas area of Sacramento. And I look forward to working with Chairman Obey and Chairman VISCLOSKY to continue their commitment to the Corps and ensure that adequate resources are dedicated to flood protection and public safety.

Madam Speaker, we need to address this economic crisis head-on. This package is a substantial step forward. As we have heard from experts on both sides of the aisle, on both sides of the political spectrum, this will not cure our economy's problems. But it will begin to ensure that hardworking Americans get back to work and back on track.


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