American families and small businesses are paying a high price for the Bush economic policies of tax cuts for the rich, Big Oil and special interests, and the war in Iraq, which have taken us into deep into debt and to the brink of recession. Americans have seen the crisis deepen in the past few months - rising prices for everything from gas to food, families losing their homes, and growing unemployment.
The New Direction Congress is taking steps to help America's families and small businesses deal with the struggling economy even in the face of Republican obstructionism in the House and Senate.
THE UNDISPUTED FACTS:
- More than 130 million American households will have received Recovery Rebates by the end of summer - to help spark a rebound of the economy. The rebates for taxpayers and incentives for small businesses to create 500,000 jobs this year are the result of a bipartisan agreement that was unprecedented in its timely response.
- At a time of six straight months of job losses, Extended Unemployment Benefits for 3.5 million Americans looking for work have been enacted into law.
- The next phase of the Minimum Wage Increase takes effect July 24th, with wages increasing another $28 a week. The first phase, last year, was the first increase enacted in a decade.
- Oil supply has been increased starting June 30th - to fight high gas prices - by Congressional action directing the President to suspend filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
- The first new vehicle efficiency standards in 32 years, enacted as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, will save families up to $1,000 a year at the pump, increasing cars to 35 mpg by 2020.
- An historic commitment to American-grown biofuels is now the law - in both the new Farm Bill and the 2007 Energy Bill - at a time when biofuel blends are keeping gas prices almost 50 cents lower per gallon.
- The first cut in college loan interest rates took effect July 1st, cutting rates from 6.8% to 6%, on their way to cutting them in half. The rate cut, and increased Pell Grants, are part of the largest expansion in college aid since the original GI Bill after World War II.
- Historic new investments in nutrition assistance for children and Food Stamps for families struggling with rising grocery prices have been enacted into law as part of the new Farm Bill.
Now it's time for the President to join us in working to tackle the home foreclosure crisis, and to do even more as America's workers struggle in this economy.
Learn more about the New Direction Congress' accomplishments>>