I am proud to say that I was the only Inland Empire Area Representative to vote in favor of The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This bill, signed into law by President Obama in February, 2009, has allowed thousands of Americans to keep their jobs. As of the end of October, the Recovery Act has created or saved over 640,000 American jobs. Specifically, the Recovery Act has authorized:
$64 billion for state and local governments to prevent the layoffs of teachers, firefighters, police officers, and other state employees
$2.5 billion given to California for highway construction
$400 Making Work Pay tax credit for over 12 million Californians
$48.8 million in funding for municipal bonds to California's 43rd Congressional District
I was also the only Inland Empire Representative to vote in favor of the Jobs for Main Street Act, which passed the House in December. This measure will create and save jobs with targeted investments for highways and transit, school renovation, small businesses, police and firefighters, and hiring teachers. These will be fully funded by redirecting TARP funds that were used to stabilize our nation's economy. The bill will also provide emergency relief for Americans suffering from the recession by increasing unemployment benefits, strengthening COBRA provisions, and extending the child tax credit to all low-income working families with children.
I am also a part of the recently-formed Jobs NOW! Caucus. This bipartisan caucus affords Members of Congress a platform on which to share ideas on how effective job policies can be formulated in a quick and efficient manner. While our economy has begun to show the first signs of recovery from this recession, we all know that the crisis is not over until Main Street is repaired. I am confident that through the work of this caucus, Congress will be able to come up with common-sense solutions that will allow for business growth and job stimulation.
I also serve on the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee for the 111th Congress. The Financial Services Committee oversees banking, monetary policy, housing, home lending, and international lending organizations like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. It also deals with the complex regulations that manage complicated borrowing and insurance law.
My priorities while on the committee are providing working families with increased access to capital markets, investment opportunities, and fair banking and insurance services. As our country rebounds from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, we must ensure that we put the needs and values of the American family at the forefront. One of the worst things to occur over the past year is that working Americans have lost faith in our country's economic system. My colleagues and I are working hard to restore that faith.
One of the best ways we can rebuild and improve our financial system is by improving access for all Americans. Financial opportunities must be open to everyone, whether they are found in accounts at our local banks, in the purchase of new homes, or in investments in billion dollar multinational corporations. Below are some of the initiatives that the Committee has worked on over the past year.