U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (W.Va.) worked to pass the American Jobs, Closing Tax Loopholes and Preventing Outsourcing Act (H.R. 4213), which promotes American job creation and preserves current jobs by providing economy-boosting assistance to those who have lost their jobs; renews a wide range of tax breaks for American families; and, closes unfair tax loopholes.
"Preserving and creating more jobs in southern West Virginia remains the number one need in our state and across this Nation," said Rahall. "This bill will allow men and women who have lost their jobs to continue their eligibility for emergency unemployment benefits and Cobra health care coverage. This bill jump starts our local economies by restoring credit flow to small businesses and reinvesting in America with Build America Bonds and Recovery Zone Bonds to ensure our state and local governments will be better able to finance the rebuilding of schools, sewers, hospitals and transit projects."
The American Jobs legislation, which passed the House of Representatives today, extends programs that are currently helping people who are unemployed through the end of the year, including the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which provides federally-funded extended benefits. Without this extension, approximately 6,200 West Virginians stand to lose unemployment insurance. Additionally, the bill includes a one-year extension for the TANF Emergency Fund, which provides funding to states to establish employment programs and to respond to the increased need for assistance. It is estimated that this extension would facilitate the placement of 1,200 jobs in West Virginia.
Small Business Lending:
The bill extends the small business lending program in the Recovery Act that eliminates the fees normally charged for certain Small Business Administration loan programs and increases government guarantees. Since its creation, this program has supported over $26 billion in small business lending, which has helped to create or retain over 650,000 jobs. The bill also provides for an extension of Build America Bonds, which is a federal subsidy of state and local government municipal bonds.
Physician Payment Update:
The American Jobs legislation would prevent a 21% reduction in Medicare and TRICARE physician fees and reforms the physician payment system. In 2010, physicians will see a 2.2-percent increase in payments and a 1-percent increase in 2011.
Relief for Working Families:
The bill aims to put more money in the hands of American families with sales tax relief, property tax relief, and college tuition deductions, providing an additional $5 billion in tax cuts in 2010 -- including $1.8 billion in state and local sales tax relief for 12 million families and a one-year renewal of tax breaks that expired at the end of 2009.
Tax relief for American families includes deductions for state and local taxes and business tax relief through the research and development tax credit. College will be more affordable for 4.4 million families who claim a deduction for qualified tuition expenses. Teachers' out-of-pocket classroom expenses are eligible for tax deduction through $200 million in tax relief assistance, including $4.5 million for West Virginia alone. Finally, the bill includes a provision to provide $1.5 billion in property tax relief for up to 30 million homeowners. These tax incentives will be paid for by eliminating tax incentives for corporations to ship jobs overseas and closing other tax loopholes.
The American Jobs legislation would provide much needed resources for the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF). The NHTF will provide communities with funds to build, preserve, and rehabilitate affordable rental homes for low income households. It is estimated that the additional funds for this program will support the immediate production of 10,000 rental homes, creating 15,000 new construction jobs and 4,000 new jobs in ongoing operations.
The American Jobs legislation would address an inequity in the funding of surface transportation projects. The bill would distribute the Projects of National and Regional Significance (PNRS) and National Corridor Infrastructure Improvement (National Corridor) program funding among all States. Additionally, the legislation distributes "additional" highway formula funds (which the bill makes available in lieu of additional Congressionally-designated projects) among all of the highway formula programs including the Appalachian Development Highway System, rather than among just six formula programs. West Virginia will receive $660 million in funds for 2010 and early 2011 for our highways.
The American Jobs, Closing Tax Loopholes and Preventing Outsourcing Act moves to the Senate for Final Passage.