By Nancy Pelosi
In his Inaugural Address, President Obama offered a new direction for our nation. Our new President pledged, 'action, bold and swift...not only to create new jobs, but to lay a foundation for growth.'
Only eight days later, the House of Representatives acted on the president's planby passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which will create and save 3 million to 4 million jobs by providing tax relief to 95 percent of Americans and making key investments to re-energize our economy.
The state of California is projected to receive more than $34 billion in funding under the act. Some 12.3 million California workers will benefit from the tax credit of up to $500 per worker. In addition, families of almost 2 million California children will receive further assistance from the Child Tax Credit Provision.
The act also strengthens America's infrastructure and transportation system. California alone will be allocated more than $4.5 billion for infrastructure investment, including keeping our highways and bridges in good condition and modernizing that state's clean water systems.
To put people back to work and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, we set the goal of doubling our renewable energy production and renovating public buildings to make them more energy efficient.
California will receive more than $2 billion to modernize K-12 facilities and colleges across the state and more than $7 billion to help schools prevent teacher layoffs and other cutbacks in education. In addition, a portion of the economic recovery package will allow 744,000 California students to benefit from an increase in the federal Pell Grant program.
As President Obama said in regard to our economy, 'we don't have a moment to spare.' Last year alone, 2.6 million Americans lost their jobs, many more fear being out of work, and too many families have already lost their homes and their savings.
In California, state unemployment soared to 9.3 percent. For them, we simply cannot wait to act.
Nancy Pelosi, D-S.F., is Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.