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January 28th, 2009
Grijalva Supports American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Washington, D.C. — In the bleakest economy America has faced since World War II, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a recovery plan that will provide an immediate boost to the economy, while also ensuring long-term economic stability and growth.

Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva supported the bill.

Arizona is expected to receive $3.5 Billion from the package.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will make bold investments to build a vibrant 21st century economy. The bill will create and save 3 to 4 million jobs, of which Arizona should receive an estimated 125,470 jobs, to help make America more globally competitive and energy independent and give 95 percent of American workers an immediate tax cut.

The Recovery Plan has unprecedented accountability measures which will provide strong oversight and public transparency, including no earmarks.

“This legislation means real change,” said Grijalva. “In the last year of the Bush Administration, 2.6 million jobs were lost. This plan is a vital step in lifting our economy and transforming it for long-term growth. Without quick action on a comprehensive recovery plan, our economy will worsen dramatically.”

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides a powerful and necessary boost to education investment and development. Funds provided under this package include $20 billion to be made available for school construction and modernization, and $79 billion to assist schools in meeting their needs when faced with budgetary shortfalls and threats of more revenue cuts from the States.

This reinvestment package will make other important investments such as increased funding for Pell Grants, work study programs and increased limits on Stafford loans.

“It is time that the needs of our nation’s children, students and workers are a priority in this plan. The recovery package will take needed steps toward ensuring that families will continue to have the opportunity to pursue a higher education,” said Grijalva.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will also include the following:

Investing in Education for the 21st Century. This recovery package will make bold investments to provide children with a 21st century education, including a strong investment in Title I, IDEA, and Head Start. Additionally, it will modernize our schools and colleges, creating jobs, preventing teacher and staff layoffs, and make college more affordable.

•Clean, Efficient, American Energy. The energy package will invest in renewable energy, energy efficiency and restoration of public lands. It will create more than 500,000 jobs, and accelerate deployment of smart grid technology, renovate public buildings and homes to make them more energy efficient, establish a new loan guarantee program to keep our transition to renewable energy on track during the economic crisis and lessen our dependence on foreign oil in the long term.

•Lower Healthcare Costs. Update and computerize healthcare system to cut red tape, prevent medical mistakes, and help reduce healthcare costs by billions of dollars each year. The package also protects health coverage for millions of Americans who have lost their jobs in this recession by providing up to 12 months of subsidized COBRA health insurance continuation coverage and a temporary state option to cover jobless workers through Medicaid.

•Rebuild our Infrastructure. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will make large investments to repair and modernize thousands of miles of roadways in the U.S. and providing new mass transit options for millions of Americans. These provisions in total would create about 1.5 million American jobs—almost half the jobs in the plan as a whole.

•Help Workers Hurt by the Economy. High unemployment and rising costs have outpaced Americans’ paychecks. The bill will help workers train and find jobs, and help struggling families make ends meet. Immediate and sustained tax relief will be offered to 95 percent of American workers through a refundable tax credit of up to $500 per worker ($1,000 per couple filing jointly), phasing out at $200,000 for couples filing jointly and $100,000 for single filers.

•Save Public Sector Jobs and Protect Vital Services. Provide relief to states, so they can continue to employ teachers, firefighters and police officers and provide vital services without having to unnecessarily raise middle class taxes. The bill will extend unemployment benefits, increase food stamp benefits and making it easier for those who lose their job to keep their health insurance.

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