WASHINGTON, DC – One year ago today, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law, the first of many essential steps Congress has taken to start turning around the economy. In one of his first and most important votes, Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) proudly supported the Recovery Act, which gave a tax cut to over 218,000 workers in the 4th District and is estimated to have created or saved over 26,000 jobs in Connecticut. Additionally, statewide 620,000 seniors, SSI recipients, and disabled veterans received $250 economic recovery payments.
At the time of its enactment, economists across the political spectrum agreed that a stimulus would be a necessary component to realizing economic recovery. And now, at the macro level, standard market indications all point to an improving economy. In early 2009, job losses reached a rate of 700,000 per month, but January 2010 marked the first drop in unemployment since the recession began. Over the past year, the GDP has swung over 10 points from -5.4% in the fourth quarter of 2008 to 5.4% in the last quarter of 2009.
“We are certainly on stronger footing than we were one year ago today when the country faced an economy in free fall, but much work remains, especially in terms of creating jobs,” said Congressman Himes. “Working in tandem with financial reform and our efforts to mitigate the housing crisis, the Recovery Act has helped put Connecticut on the path toward economic recovery.”
The Recovery Act has already invested nearly $575 million in Connecticut’s 4th District, and we are only half-way through the two-year program. Information about all of the projects in the district is available at www.himes.house.gov/recovery. The Recovery Act has made hundreds of local projects possible, but key investments include:
• $1.8 million completing funding necessary to demolish Congress Street Bridge.
• $4 million to the WorkPlace, Inc. to train and place 700 workers into in-demand “green” jobs.
• $4.8 million to put 20 new police officers on the streets in Bridgeport.
• $46 million to schools throughout the district to keep teachers in the classroom.
• $2.7 million for the Stamford Urban Transitway.
• $1.3 million to expand the Norwalk Community Health Center.