In the next two weeks, the House will consider the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, working from priorities shared with President-elect Barack Obama.
The plan, unveiled yesterday, is already garnering support from a wide range of people. The plan is the first crucial step in a concerted effort to create and save 3 to 4 million jobs, jumpstart our economy, and transform it for the 21st century.
Unprecedented accountability and transparency measures are built in to help ensure tax dollars are spent wisely. $550 billion is strategically targeted to priority investments; $275 billion in targeted tax cuts will also help spur economic recovery.
Mark Zandi, chief economist with Moody's Economy.com
“The stimulus plan as laid out will provide a vital boost to the flagging economy. Without it, the jobless rate is headed well into the double digits, a depression in my nomenclature. Stimulus is more than dollars and cents, however. It has to be passed quickly and sold well to shore up crumbling confidence.” [Seattle Times, 1/16/09]
Robert Berdahl, Association of American Universities
“These proposed investments in research, in students and in infrastructure will not only create jobs right away but also jump-start the nation's effort to produce more of the people, ideas and technologies that will help build a foundation for energy security, a cleaner environment and ultimately a sustainable prosperity.” [San Francisco Chronicle, 1/16/09]
Katy Beh Neas, Easter Seals
“The economic recovery package directs essential funding to programs that support all aspects of life for people with disabilities.” [Letter to Speaker Pelosi, 1/15/09]
Angela Peoples, United States Student Association
“We applaud the House for both helping the economy in the short run and for increasing investment in higher education for the long run.” [1/15/09]
Christine Owens, National Employment Law Project
“The House bill announced today will tremendously help unemployed workers weather the storm until their next jobs come along. This proposal would deliver an instant boost to state economies and provide relief to thousands of workers falling through the cracks. Passage of this proposal will be essential to an effective recovery of our economy.” [1/15/09]
Michael Ettlinger, Center for American Progress
“The plan makes important investments where they will do the most good in overcoming the nation's damaging loss of jobs and putting the United States back onto a sustainable long- term growth path with rising living standards for all.” [1/15/09]
Rich Williams, USPIRG
“Students and families across the country can use as much help as possible to ease the burden of paying for college. This bill has a set of provisions that on the whole can make a positive impact on college access and affordability.” [1/15/09]
“Macroeconomic Advisers, a forecasting firm, estimated Thursday that a plan of $775 billion stimulus over two years would boost GDP by 3.2%, reduce the unemployment rate by 1.7 percentage points and raise employment by 3.3 million jobs.” [Wall Street Journal, 1/16/09]
The House Appropriations and Ways and Means Committees “Chairman's Mark” contain targeted efforts in:
- Clean, Efficient, American Energy
- Transforming our Economy with Science and Technology
- Modernizing Roads, Bridges, Transit and Waterways
- Education for the 21st Century
- Tax Cuts to Make Work Pay and Create Jobs
- Lowering Health Care Costs
- Helping Workers Hurt by the Economy
- Saving Jobs of Teachers, Law Enforcement, and Health Workers and Protecting Vital Services
Tough choices have been made in this legislation, and fiscal discipline demands more tough choices in the years to come.