CONGRESSMAN JIM HIMES

Representing the 4th District of Connecticut

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan: What It Means for Connecticut

January 28, 2009
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, the House of Representatives passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, legislation that will create and save jobs while investing in the future of our nation.  This legislation comes at a challenging time for our nation’s economy.  In the last year alone, 2.6 million jobs were lost in the United States – the worst year in more than 60 years.

Connecticut has faced unique challenges during the economic recession.  The state is home to many of the financial institutions most hurt by the recent collapse of financial markets. Additionally, home foreclosures are on the rise, workers continue to lose their jobs, and the state’s infrastructure requires immediate attention.

This bleak economic record speaks to the urgency of this recovery plan.  Without a plan for recovery, economists have predicted Connecticut’s unemployment will soar, businesses—large and small—will continue to close their doors, and the country’s dilapidated infrastructure will impede economic and community growth.  To address these concerns, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been the top priority of the Obama Administration and the 111th Congress. 

Immediate Boost and Long-Term Growth

 

Through tax cuts and investments, the $825 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan creates or saves 3 to 4 million jobs, over 45,000 in Connecticut alone, while stimulating economic growth, according an analysis by Mark Zandi.

Specifically, Connecticut citizens will benefit from the following tax cuts:

·         Child Tax Credit of up to $1,000 per child affecting 119,000 children

(Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)

·         Making Work Pay Tax Credit of up to $500 per worker affecting 1,217,000 Connecticut citizens

(Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)

  • Extends Production Tax Credit for energy from wind and other renewable sources

(Ways and Means Committee)

  • Modifies Investment Tax Credit of 30 percent for new renewable energy facilities

(Ways and Means Committee)

  • Increased tax credits from $500 to $1,500 to promote energy-efficient homes

(Ways and Means Committee)

  • Enhanced Research and Development Tax Credit of 20 percent for renewable energy and energy conservation technology

(Ways and Means Committee)

 

Connecticut will also receive funding for:

·         Infrastructure Investments - $584,010,217

o   Highways and Bridges - $391,353,941

o   Transit Capital - $68,087,302

o   Clean Water State Revolving Fund - $71,112,789

(Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)

·         Medicaid - $1,207,178

(Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)

·         Food Stamps - $152,000,000 affecting 238,000 Connecticut families over five years

(Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)

·         Supplemental Security Income - $20,500,000 affecting 35,900 Connecticut seniors and disabled

(Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)

·         State Fiscal Stabilization Fund – $718,194,000

 (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)

·         Pell Grants - $170,915,690  affecting 51,992 students who will receive an average award of $3,287

(Department of Education)

·         Head Start - $4,650,487

(Department of Health and Human Services)

·         Child Care and Development Block Grant - $13,685,624

(Department of Health and Human Services)

·         Employment and Training - $5,527,450

(Department of Labor)

·         Community Services Block Grant - $12,061,834

(Department of Health and Human Services)

·         Increase in Unemployment Benefits:

o   277,766 Connecticut workers who have lost their jobs will receive a $25 per week increase in benefits

o   41,770 Connecticut unemployed workers will continue to receive benefits

(National Employment Law Project)

Support From Economists Across the Spectrum

Independent economists have confirmed that the recovery plan will meet its goal of creating or saving 3 to 4 million jobs.  Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Economy.com and a former advisor to Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign, found that the recovery plan would lead to an unemployment rate 2.2 percent lower than if we did nothing, and that more than 90 percent of jobs created would be in the private sector. [Zandi Analysis, 1/21/09]

Accountability and Transparency

The recovery plan will include several important provisions to ensure that spending is transparent and it is clear to the American people where the money is going.  The plan includes no earmarks and the Obama Administration will create a website to publically post details on how the money is being spent.  These accountability provisions will give the American people the assurance that their money is being spent to get us out of this recession and is not subject to waste, fraud, or abuse.

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Congressman Jim Himes represents Connecticut’s 4th District, which includes the communities of Bridgeport, Darien, Easton, Fairfield,  Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, Norwalk, Oxford, Redding, Ridgefield, Shelton, Stamford, Trumbull,  Weston, Westport, and Wilton