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Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that today, I am witnessing a glimmer of hope that bi-partisanship based around enacting job creating legislation and helping the middle class is possible. This is something that has been sorely missed throughout the 112th Congress.
The actions we take today will put over $90 billion into the economy. In the Garden State, this means $100 million into the construction industry, over $285 million into manufacturing and the creation of almost 1,500 retail jobs. More importantly, this means families in Bergen, Passaic and Hudson counties will receive between $1,000 and almost $1,500 directly in their pockets over the course of the next year.
While people say this isn't a lot of real money, I will tell you, every dollar matters when people are in need and every dollar matters to help continue our economic recovery.
Over the last couple of months, we've seen signs that our recovery is accelerating, including 23 month of private sector job growth, 247,000 new jobs in January added, with the highest increase in manufacturing jobs since the late 1990s. This week, initial jobless claims dropped yesterday to their lowest level since March 2008, recent economic surveys showed strong gains in new orders, and the Dow Jones is at its highest level since May 2008.
However, despite this good news, now is not the time to take our foot off the gas. The President has proposed a whole list of job creating ideas contained within the American Jobs Act that will kick this recovery into high gear, including a $5 billion fund to hire and retain police and firefighters, and a bold plan to invest in American infrastructure, that stands in stark contrast to the politicized and broken bill we are debating in the House.
As we pass this legislation, we mustn't stand here and simply savor this hard fought victory for the middle class, we should use it as the foundation to further economic growth and create more jobs.
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