Saturday, 24 February 2024

House passes major economic recovery package

WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives voted Wednesday in support of a comprehensive economic recovery package to provide funding for a major infrastructure spending program and tax benefits targeted at individuals and small businesses.


Developed with the Obama administration, this job creating package is meant to rebuild America, give 95 percent of working families an immediate tax cut and invest quickly in the economy.


Congressman Mike Thompson's (D-CA) office reported that he helped draft key provisions of the bill and voted in favor of the legislation, which passed the House by a vote of 244 to 188.


“There isn’t a day that goes by without new signs that our economy is grinding to a halt,” said Congressman Thompson. “This bill provides desperately needed funding and tax relief to help working families cope with these challenging times. By making these critical investments, particularly in rural communities like those in our district, we are not only putting people to work in the short run, but also strengthening our economy for the long haul.”


H.R. 1 includes $275 billion in tax cuts for individuals and businesses, and $550 billion in carefully targeted investments in infrastructure, education, clean energy and health care.


California alone will receive a minimum of $32 billion in recovery funds in addition to the billions of dollars in tax cuts that will flow to citizens of the state.


Independent economist Mark Zandi estimates that this will save or create over 800,000 jobs in California.


The legislation also includes key provisions to ensure that rural communities are not left behind and receive their fair share of assistance.


Locally, the possible benefits aren't yet known, according to county officials.


Some of the key job creating provisions of H.R. 1 include:


  • $90 billion to repair and modernize roads, bridges, transit and waterways, including $4.5 billion requested by Congressman Thompson for the Army Corps of Engineers;

  • $145 billion for a Making Work Pay tax credit which will cut taxes for more than 95 percent of working families;

  • $20 billion in targeted tax cuts for American businesses, large and small, to spur job creation;

  • $41 billion for local school districts to repair and upgrade their facilities;

  • $63 billion for increased food stamps, unemployment benefits, and job training to assist those who have lost their jobs;

  • $73 billion in new funding and tax incentives to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and gas, including several alternative energy tax provisions authored by Congressman Thompson that will provide billions of dollars in tax incentives to expand the use of renewable energy;

  • $6 billion to expand broadband Internet access in rural and underserved areas;

  • An unprecedented level of transparency, oversight and accountability will ensure our tax dollars are spent wisely.


During drafting of H.R. 1 in the Ways & Means Committee, Thompson was able to include key provisions of legislation he authored (HR 546) that will allow state and local governments to help homeowners and businesses more easily finance the purchase of solar systems and provide $2.4 billion in new qualified energy conservation bonds to finance state and local government programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


Additionally, the Thompson provisions will provide grants to incentivize businesses to invest in renewable technology today, rather than waiting until the economy improves.


“The solar energy tax provisions I authored will make it easier for businesses and homeowners to have solar panels installed,” said Congressman Thompson. “This has the twin benefits of creating green jobs while at the same time reducing our dependence on foreign oil.”


The Senate is expected to consider companion economic recovery legislation next week with the expectation that a House-Senate Conference will be convened the following week to negotiate a final bill. House and Senate leaders have said that they expect to send this legislation to the president by President’s Day, Feb. 16.


To learn more about H.R. 1, please visit the following web links:


www.speaker.gov/newsroom/legislation?id=0273


http://waysandmeans.house.gov/MoreInfo.asp?section=50


http://appropriations.house.gov/pdf/PressSummary01-21-09.pdf


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