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Mr. HARE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act which would create jobs, extend critical tax credits, provide assistance to people in need, and ensures that my home state of Illinois is able to continue building its infrastructure.
The bill extends unemployment insurance until November 30, 2010. It extends the National Flood Insurance Program until the end of the year. It also extends key tax credits for Illinois clean energy producers. Further, enactment of this legislation will ensure that short line and regional rail lines can continue critical track maintenance, providing reliable infrastructure for rail customers and communities across the nation. It achieves this through the Railroad Track Maintenance Credit. The 45G rail tax credit will enable small and mid-sized railroads to update and upgrade their track capacities in order to promote those railroads as a viable way to move freight. This provision means that railroads in and around my district, such as the Burlington Junction Railway, the Decatur Junction Railway, the Illinois & Midland Railroad, the Iowa Interstate Railroad, the Keokuk Junction Railway, and the Toledo, Peoria & Western Railroad, would all be able to make the necessary upgrades and perform maintenance to tracks which move our nation's food, consumer goods, and coal.
Another aspect of this bill that I am proud to support is commonly known as the "Doc Fix'', which prevents a 21 percent doctor payment cut under Medicare which is scheduled to take place in June in order to preserve seniors' access to the doctor of their choice. This 19 month fix to the Sustainable Growth Rate formula increases physician payment rates by 2.2 percent for the rest of 2010 and 1 percent in 2011. This provision is necessary to guarantee that Medicare beneficiaries can continue to enjoy the excellent access to care that they do today.
Finally, H.R. 4213 ensures that Illinois highway funds are protected. A provision in the original legislation would have cost Illinois $118 million. But language was added to ensure the state can keep these critical resources. I thank Chairman Oberstar for working with the Illinois delegation to ensure that the state was held harmless in this regard.
The bill saves taxpayer dollars by ending subsidies for corporations who ship our jobs overseas, requiring Wall Street investment fund billionaires to pay their fair share of taxes, and ensuring BP meets its responsibility for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
We are finally starting to see some positive momentum in the job market. But with many Americans still looking for work, these long-term extensions of unemployment insurance are critical to ordinary families' ability to make ends meet. I am pleased this bill also includes two important provisions for our farmers in Illinois. An extension of the National Flood Insurance Program will give families who live along the Mississippi River important protection from future disasters. In addition, those farmers who produce clean energy like biodiesel and ethanol will continue to receive a tax credit.
We pay for much of this by ceasing to reward multinational corporations for shipping American jobs overseas. This policy combined with several unfair trade deals has battered the manufacturing base in my district. It is time to stand up for American workers again.
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