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February 13th, 2009
Congressman Grijalva Statement on Economic Recovery Package

Washington, D.C. — The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed in the House of Representatives today. This critical legislation to create and save 3.5 million American jobs will be signed into law next week.

Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva supported the bill and releases this statement:

“I voted to support today’s Recovery Act, a bill that is far from perfect, but opens up possibilities for many.

“While this package will not solve the entirety of the economic crisis consuming this country, it takes steps to ensure that our communities are not put on a pathway toward further disaster.

“This is a time in our country when our neighborhoods are declining, our streets are crumbling, and our schools are falling apart.

“Last month, the Department of Labor reported that the economy lost 598,000 jobs in January alone; that is the equivalent of more than three times the population of Yuma County, or half the population of Pima County, losing their jobs. With job loss numbers as staggering as these, and with the well-being of so many communities on the line, this recovery package is a sorely needed step in putting our country back on track.

“We only have one chance at this package and I believe its most important objective is ensuring that our society’s most vulnerable receive the help they deserve. This package is about putting people to work and helping to sustain local governments and facilities that have dilapidated. This is the package for those of us that do not make millions of dollars; this is the package that will provide benefits to you and your family, not Wall Street executives. By simply providing jobs, this package will put revenue into the pockets of many. This bill is not a bailout of corporations. It is government fulfilling its responsibility to care for its constituents.

“The State of Arizona is in a budget crisis that it is translating to cuts in the Department of Economic Security, slashed departments at our public universities and colleges, money taken from our children in elementary, junior high, and high schools, and increases in hunger, poverty, and the ranks of the uninsured. The Recovery Act will help stop this kind of hemorrhaging, which is why I support it.

“I remain upset that programs for people of the greatest need were stripped from the initial version of this bill. However, I support the final version of this bill because it is a package that allows workers, families, and local governments to be able to provide for their own. It will take time to turn this economy around, but I am confident that this package will make our economy stronger and more resilient.”

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