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State and Local Leaders Endorse the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Last week, the House passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, working from priorities shared with President Barack Obama.  This week, the bill moves to the Senate for consideration.  

There is growing bipartisan support among state and local leaders for this critical job creation measure.  Today, a bipartisan group of 19 governors sent a letter to President Obama expressing their strong support for this critical legislation.

A staggering 2.6 million American jobs were lost in the last year of the Bush Administration -- the culmination of a failed economic approach -- one that also doubled our national debt in eight short years.  We need a New Direction.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will:

  • create and save 3 to 4 million jobs, rebuilding America, making us more globally competitive and energy independent, and transforming our economy for long-term growth.
  • give 95 percent of Americans an immediate tax cut.
  • invest $100 billion in roads, bridges, mass transit, flood control, and clean water projects.
  • invest quickly into the economy - 75% in the first 18 months.

The Recovery Plan has unprecedented accountability measures built in--providing strong oversight, an historic degree of public transparency, and including no earmarks.

Below are recent comments from state and local leaders about the impact of the economic recovery act:

Bipartisan Governors

“Families and businesses across the nation are hurting. Credit markets have seized up, which is affecting both business activity and consumer spending. Unemployment is rising sharply. While we all believe in the importance of free markets, we believe that the markets today need stimulating.

“We support the objectives of the ARRA [American Recovery and Reinvestment Act] and welcome the partnership it offers us as governors.” [Letter to President Obama, 2/2/09]


 Gov. Deval Patrick (D-Mass.)  Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Calif.)  Gov. Bill Ritter, Jr. (D-Colo.)
 Gov. M. Jodi Rell (R-Conn.)  Gov. Jack Markell (D-Del.)  Gov. Charlie Crist (R-Fla.)
 Gov. Pat Quinn (D-Ill.)  Gov. Chester J. Culver (D-Iowa)  Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-Mich.)
 Gov. Jon S. Corzine (D-NJ)  Gov. David A. Paterson (D-NY)  Gov. Ted Strickland (D-Ohio)
 Gov. Brad Henry (D-Okla.)  Gov. Theodore R. Kulongoski (D-Ore.)  Gov. Edward G. Rendell (D-Penn.)
 Gov. James H. Douglas (R-Vt.)  Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D-Va.)  Gov. John deJongh Jr. (D-Virgin Islands)
 Gov. Jim Doyle (D-Wis.)           

Mississippi House Speaker Billy McCoy (D)
“It makes every bit as much sense for the federal government, with all its power and might, to be involved in assisting the nation as a whole -- states, counties communities and individuals -- in this terrible economic disaster just as much as it did in the physical disaster in Katrina.” [Commercial Appeal, 2/3/09]

North Carolina House Speaker Joe Hackney (D)
“States can move quickly to put this money on the ground. The infrastructure projects are important because it's such a win-win.” [McClatchy News, 2/2/09]

Florida Rep. Gary Aubuchon (R)
Stimulus dollars would “enable commercial development and reduce unemployment.” [Los Angeles Times, 2/3/09]

Schenectady, New York Mayor Brian Stratton
“Swift enactment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act by Congress, and the prompt disbursement of funds directly to cities and local governments is the most effective way to ensure that Schenectady and the Capital Region receive the significant investment needed for our crumbling infrastructure and 'ready to go' projects that can jumpstart our local economy by creating immediate, real jobs.” [WAMC, 1/30/09]

Bourbonnais, Illinois Mayor Paul Schore
“I think it is really exactly what needs to happen on the short term to get the economy moving.” [Daily Journal, 2/2/09]  

Huntsville, Alabama Mayor Tommy Battle
“We've got a huge list of roads and a small capacity to pay for them…This is our chance to really step into the 21st century.” [USA Today, 2/1/09]

Lexington, Kentucky Mayor Jim Newberry

“These are important projects for our community that we have been unable to afford.” [Lexington Herald-Leader, 1/31/09]

Charleston, West Virginia Mayor Danny Jones

“These are really good projects - not wants, but needs. If we could get some of these Sanitary Board projects paid, it may save someone a higher sanitary bill…We're going to get a 50 percent increase in [Block Grant funds]. That will get us back to where we were when I was first mayor. There may be some more money in the COPS program, some other money for cities.” [Charleston Gazette, 2/3/09]