Congressman Sestak Votes for Historic Legislation to Rebuild Economic Security
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Congressman Sestak Votes for Historic Legislation to Rebuild Economic Security

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Washington, D.C. – January 28, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) – To avoid a deeper and more protracted economic recession that would devastate the economic security of his constituents, while ensuring a more rapid recovery from the recession, Congressman Joe Sestak (PA-07) voted for H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, today, which passed the House by a vote of 244 – 188. The legislation begins to rebuild the economy and puts Americans back to work during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression – an economy in which the housing market is in its worst state since the 1930s, and turmoil in the financial markets threatens the long-term economic, health, education, and retirement security of millions of Americans. The Congressman also introduced four amendments to the bill which extend COBRA healthcare coverage from 18-to-24 months, expand the first time home buyer’s tax credit, and two amendments that increase funding for the revitalization of brown fields. (Note: further on, all detailed provisions of the bill are provided, and bolded within various provisions is the funding for the 7th District and Pennsylvania; this is also summarized at the end in Section X).

In December, 524,000 more Americans became unemployed– for a total of 2.6 million lost jobs over the twelve preceding months– and the unemployment rate surged to 7.2%, which is a 16 year high. Household net worth has fallen close to $13 trillion since peaking a year ago, primarily because of a 25% decline in house prices and a 40% decline in stock prices. Approximately 38 states are now in recession; retail sales, vehicle sales and industrial production are plunging downward; and a January increase in unemployment insurance claims suggest another monthly job loss of over 500,000. At the same time, state tax revenue growth has slowed as home sales, property values, and corporate profits have all fallen, which has led to a gap between state and local government revenues and their expenditures of over $100 billion—a record—in the third quarter of 2008.

In the 7th District, the current economic crisis adds to the fact that over the past eight years, health premiums have increased nearly 100%; education over the past six years at a public university has soared over 65%; and real income has not kept pace with inflation as over 50% of the District’s families have less real income today than in 2001.

“The global financial system – while edging back from the apex of panic in October – is still in a deep crisis of limited lending. Lost jobs, and the healthcare that comes with it, along with declines in real GDP, industrial production, and retail sales, have impacted all sectors of our economy and every household,” Congressman Sestak said. “For example, in my district, Crozer Chester Medical Center recently announced lay offs or consolidation of approximately 400 employees and their positions; a small family laundry business closed because it could not get a loan to repair equipment; a family-run sports store closed after 30 years in business; a 68-year old woman lost more than $100,000 in her retirement savings as the market crashed; and a father with a strong credit history could not get a mortgage for his family. Simply put:  my constituents are very concerned about their family’s security, their future, and America,” continued Congressman Sestak.

“The immediate cause of this crisis was the collapse of the housing market and consequential surge in mortgage loan defaults. The billions of dollars in losses on these mortgages, banks’ unwillingness to extend credit, stock market declines, and the resulting cycle that is self-reinforced by a lack of consumer and investor confidence have led to circumstances not seen since the Great Depression.”

“Since I first voted for an economic stimulus bill in September, which the Senate failed to consider, and then the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act in October, I have called for the need to pass a second economic stimulus package. I believe that the cycle we are currently experiencing can only be broken by aggressive and relentless government intervention, and one of the ways is by a significant stimulus plan to provide both quick relief to individuals, businesses and state governments to pay their bills, and to give a strong boost to the economy. While it is clear that the market has responded to recent action — from the Troubled Asset Relief Program and the actions of the Federal Reserve which put funding into both the credit and financial sectors, and resulted in residential mortgage rates declining; Libor (the rate banks lend money to each other overnight and to which every credit card in America is directly tied, as well as approximately 50% of all adjustable rate mortgages) falling, which is indicative that interbank lending is improving; and commercial paper rates also falling — without the implementation of an aggressive stimulus plan, conditions will worsen quickly and further harm the economic security of my constituents, and all Americans,” said Congressman Sestak.

Therefore, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act injects $825 billion (approximately 5% of GDP) into the economy through $275 billion in tax cuts for individuals and small businesses – providing 95% of American workers with an immediate tax cut — and $550 billion in increased government investment, of which 75% would be spent in the first 18 months. This bill is designed to both provide quick relief and a significant boost to our economy. We must immediately salvage jobs that are hemorrhaging as states cut programs and payrolls, as are businesses; as well as give funding relief to cash-strapped citizens and businesses, and we must also invest in the job creation and tax relief programs that will generate the needed jobs of the future.

The spending provisions are designed to:

Help Workers Hurt by the Recession by funding programs to train workers and help them find jobs, extending unemployment benefits, and increasing food stamp benefits, which generate an estimated $1.73 in near-term GDP for every dollar spent;
Create 1.5 Million Jobs  through Infrastructure Investments, by rebuilding our crumbling bridges and roads, providing new mass transit options for millions of Americans, and modernizing public buildings — provisions that are estimated to boost GDP $1.59 per dollar spent;
Lower Health Care Costs and Broaden Coverage by increasing the federal share of Medicaid costs (FMAP), establishing a health information technology system, extending COBRA coverage, and allowing states to temporarily cover jobless workers through Medicaid, which is expected to create more than 250,000 jobs in the health care industry and elsewhere;
Invest in Education through school and college modernization; increase Pell Grants and higher education tax credits to make college more affordable- creating 250,000 jobs in education and related sectors; and also preventing teacher layoffs and education cuts by the states;
Ensure our Economic Competitiveness with Science, Technology, and Innovation, through a $10 billion investment in scientific research and a $40 billion investment in the nation’s IT network infrastructure- which will create 949,000 jobs; and
Clean, Efficient Domestic Energy that will substantially increase renewable energy production and renovate public buildings, while creating more than 500,000 jobs.

While the stimulus will not immediately reverse the economic downturn, it will provide a vitally needed boost to the flagging economy and prevent what is now a serious recession from becoming a depression. It will help prevent even more lost jobs, small businesses shutting their doors, homeowners facing foreclosure, and a more severe budget deficit because of a greater decline in the economy generating less government revenues, which would mean greater budget outlays required for a longer period; the failure to pass this stimulus would mean GDP would not return to its previous 2007 peak by the beginning of 2011, but rather in 2014; and millions more would be unemployed by that time. In fact, the unemployment rate would be over 11.5% percent (11% marks an economic downturn as a depression) rather than 9% by the end of this year if the stimulus bill is passed.

Specifically for the 7th Congressional District, for one example, the stimulus will provide:
$74,197,800 to area school districts, including $23,716,500 for construction funding, $13,961,200 for the execution of Title 1-A, and a $36,520,100 investment in IDEA special education programs.

As another example, the Philadelphia metropolitan area alone will receive $92.3 million for highway infrastructure funding, and in the 7th District, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority has announced that stimulus funding will go to such projects as: Highway grade crossing improvement along the 101/102 line in Upper Darby; renovation of the Folcroft, Morton, and Clifton Aldan stations; purchase of 40 hybrid buses; Malvern Station improvements to include a new pedestrian underpass, new energy efficient lighting, “intertrack” fencing, and expansion and improvements to parking lots, among other projects.

Similarly, the Commonwealth will receive funding for:
4.4 million Pennsylvanians to benefit from the “Making Work Pay Tax Credit ($500 per individual, and $1000 for two spouses filing jointly);”
Funds to support 567,000 through the Child Tax Credit;
$3,974,892 from the increase in federal funding for Medicaid;
$779 million from the Increase in Food Stamp Benefits;
$190.5 million from increased spending for Supplemental Security Income—benefiting 333,800 recipients;
$90.6 million from the Emergency Shelter Grant Program;
Funding for 155,691 new Pennsylvanian recipients of Emergency Unemployment Compensation between April – December 2009;
$2.5 billion from the stabilization fund to specifically prevent layoffs;
$112.4 million from Byrne JAG funding to support law enforcement;
$1.2 billion to support highway and bridge formula funding, including $245.4 million from transit capital funding, $134 million for guideway modernization, and $229 million for clean water projects.

While the expected benefits of this stimulus are great, without a stimulus circumstances are projected to worsen quickly. GDP would fall 4.2% in 2009 and another 2.2% in 2010, and Pennsylvania would face a $2 billion deficit shortfall this June. Approximately five million more homes would be lost in the next three years, and some eight million jobs would be lost from the peak in employment at the start of 2008, pushing – as noted above — the unemployment rate to well over 11% by end of 2009. This would be much more severe than the early 1980s recession, which has been the worst downturn since the Depression.

And importantly, the failure to implement this stimulus would mean that consumer and investor confidence would further deride, as occurred in September, when the House failed to pass the first version of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act and the stock market suffered an 8.8% free fall — its biggest percentage decline since the 1987 crash. That market turmoil prior to Congress finally passing the stabilization legislation a few days later, gravely harmed investor confidence in the government’s willingness to act in a predictable and needed manner, turning a financial crisis into a financial panic. Similarly, if this Stimulus bill is not passed quickly – as markets have already built it into their expectations – and if it is also not explained clearly so that households and businesses are convinced it will work, then we will not begin to dissipate the dark mood pervasive in our economy, and thus will fail to stem the economic downturn.

“As we begin this new session of Congress in the midst of economic turmoil, our foremost priority must be to reduce the financial strains felt by millions of American families, while immediately stabilizing our economy. Since September, I have been dedicated to creating and supporting a stimulus package that balances short term investment with long term fiscal responsibility – a policy that ensures that not only our generation enjoys the fruits of a robust economy, but that the next generation is not burdened by a devastating debt. I believe that based on the compelling evidence, the future debt would be exponentially worse if no action is taken and therefore I joined 243 of my colleagues in supporting passage of this urgently needed stimulus,” said Congressman Sestak.

Congressman Sestak’s vote for passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is yet another example of his ongoing efforts to stabilize the economy since the first signs of this crisis emerged over a year ago. In February, when the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) alerted him that it had to stop making student loans because of the problems in the credit markets, the Congressman immediately wrote to the Secretary of the Treasury and Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, asking for direct intervention, but Chairman Bernanke responded that the “most important contribution that the Federal Reserve can make … is to foster the restoration of more-normal functioning in financial markets more generally.”

Unfortunately, over the proceeding ten months, that proved wrong. Instead, what began with foreclosures in sub-prime mortgages, has now engulfed and devastated a growing number of financial institutions, causing a widespread credit freeze that affects his constituents, where lending has stopped because of the fear that mortgage-related securities held by banks may soon make these banks insolvent.
In October, to secure economic security, restore availability of affordable credit loans, and prevent further decline in the stock market, Congressman Sestak voted for the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (after voting for it in September when it failed to have enough votes). While the Congressman believes that the passage of that bill was necessary to prevent an imminent collapse of the economy, its implementation has not been sufficient, and what was needed was further accountability and transparency in their effort.
“There have been serious policy missteps in the government’s implementation of the original TARP approval of $350 billion, including the decision of Secretary Paulson not to use the TARP funding for its original intent of purchasing distressed mortgage loans and securities, but rather solely for its capital insertion into banking institutions.  While providing capital was essential, abandoning the distressed asset purchases altogether was a mistake as, after his announcement of this, prices of those assets caved further.  This failure to provide clarity to the price of those assets by the government’s purchase of them — or evenly conducting a reverse auction to set their prices — resulted in a failure to attract private investment once their price became known by government investment, and once the value of institutions holding such assets could then also be determined — and attract investors. That is why I recently voted for the TARP Reform and Accountability Act, law which moves a long way toward correcting this and other failures, including first and foremost the failure of the Treasury Department and the financial and banking industry to ensure accountability for the application of these funds. These accountability rules apply to all institutions that have received funding back to the commencement of the TARP program in October 2008,” said Congressman Sestak (The Congressman earlier sent a letter to Secretary of the Treasury Paulson in response to a December 2 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report which identified the same problems with TARP’s implementation that Congressman Sestak had independently highlighted in two previous letters to the Secretary; he also wrote to Speaker Nancy Pelosi in November to ask her to join him in demanding Secretary Paulson follow the accountability measures specified in the Stabilization bill and calling on the Democratic leadership to accelerate the assignments of positions on the Congressional Oversight Panel so that is could meet its requirements for supervising use of taxpayer funds. The final appointments were announced on Thursday 21 November, more than 6 weeks after the bill was originally passed by the House and Senate; Prior to his letter to Speaker Pelosi, Congressman Sestak also sent a letter to United States Attorney General Michael Mukasey requesting him to “conduct an appropriate and thorough investigation into any and all financial institutions, corporations, and individuals that are suspect of criminal action relating to our current economic crisis.”)

Meanwhile, Congressman Sestak has remained committed to the need for a comprehensive economic stimulus plan. The bill passed today by the House, and supported by Congressman Sestak, includes the detailed provisions listed below. In these provisions you will find bolded, the impact of this investment on local school districts and broad support for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and small businesses.  Examples of these are placed among the various provisions below, and are also summarized at the very end in Section X:

I. Tax Relief for Middleclass Families and American Businesses, and Tax Incentives for State Local Economic Development

The tax cuts in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will jumpstart the economy by returning money to the hands of 95% of American workers, and encouraging new job-creating investments by businesses large and small, that will transform our economy for years to come, such as in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Details:

a. Tax Relief and Support for American Families ($185 billion over 10 years)

“Making Work Pay” tax credit. The bill would cut taxes for more than 95% of working families in the United States. For 2009 and 2010, the bill would provide a refundable tax credit of up to $500 for working individuals and $1,000 for working families. This tax credit would be calculated at a rate of 6.2% of earned income, and would phase out for taxpayers with adjusted gross income in excess of $75,000 ($150,000 for married couples filing jointly). Taxpayers can receive this benefit through a reduction in the amount of income tax that is withheld from their paychecks, or through claiming the credit on their tax returns.
The Make Work Pay Tax Cut provides immediate and sustained tax relief to 95 percent of American workers through a refundable tax credit of up to $500 per worker ($1,000 per couple filing jointly), phasing out at $200,000 for couples filing jointly and $100,000 for single filers.  These tax cuts would be distributed to millions of families by reducing tax withholding from workers’ paychecks.
Making Work Pay Credit: Benefits for Pennsylvania
Estimated number of Taxpayers Benefiting: 4,420,000
Increase in earned income tax credit. Expands the Earned Income Tax Credit by providing tax relief to families with three or more children and increasing marriage penalty relief.
Specifically, the bill would temporarily increase the earned income tax credit for working families with three or more children. Under current law, working families with two or more children currently qualify for an earned income tax credit equal to forty percent (40%) of the family’s first $12,570 of earned income. This credit is subject to a phase-out for working families with adjusted gross income in excess of $16,420 ($19,540 for married couples filing jointly). The bill would increase the earned income tax credit to forty-five percent (45%) of the family’s first $12,570 of earned income for families with three or more children and would increase the beginning point of the phase-out range for all married couples filing a joint return (regardless of the number of children) by $1,880.
Increase eligibility for the refundable portion of child credit. The bill would increase the eligibility for the refundable child tax credit in 2009 and 2010. For 2008, the child tax credit is refundable to the extent of 15 percent of the taxpayer’s earned income in excess of $8,500. The bill would eliminate this floor for 2009 and 2010.
By expanding the child tax credit, the plan would provide a new tax cut for more than 6 million children, and increase the existing credit for more than 10 million children.
“American Opportunity” education tax credit. The bill would provide financial assistance for individuals seeking a college education. For 2009 and 2010, the bill would provide taxpayers with a new “American Opportunity” tax credit of up to $2,500 of the cost of tuition and related expenses paid during the taxable year. Under this new tax credit, taxpayers will receive a tax credit based on one hundred percent (100%) of the first $2,000 of tuition and related expenses (including books) paid during the taxable year and twenty-five percent (25%) of the next $2,000 of tuition and related expenses paid during the taxable year. Forty percent (40%) of the credit would be refundable. This tax credit will be subject to a phase-out for taxpayers with adjusted gross income in excess of $80,000 ($160,000 for married couples filing jointly).
Helps more than 4 million additional students attend college with a new, $2,500 tax credit for families, which is partially refundable.  As a result, the nearly one-fifth of high school seniors who currently would receive no tax credit will receive a tax cut to make college affordable for the first time.
Refundable first-time home buyer credit. Last year, Congress provided taxpayers with a refundable tax credit that was equivalent to an interest-free loan equal to 10 percent of the purchase of a home (up to $7,500) by first-time home buyers. The provision applies to homes purchased on or after April 9, 2008 and before July 1, 2009. Taxpayers receiving this tax credit are currently required to repay any amount received under this provision back to the government over 15 years in equal installments, or, if earlier, when the home is sold. The credit phases out for taxpayers with adjusted gross income in excess of $75,000 ($150,000 in the case of a joint return). The bill would eliminate the repayment obligation for taxpayers that purchase homes after January 1, 2009. The provision would retain the credit recapture if the house is sold within three years of purchase.
DTV Conversion Coupons: $650 million to continue the coupon program to enable American households to convert from analog television transmission to digital transmission.

b. Small Business Tax Incentives and Support to Create Jobs and Spur Investment ($30 billion over 10 years and Creating 400,000 Jobs)

The economic recovery legislation will infuse the nation’s small businesses- which comprise 99 percent of American industry and employ half of the private sector workforce with $13 billion in new lending and investment.  The provisions in the bill putting fresh capital in the hands of small business owners, which will result in the creation or retention of 400,000 jobs, more than 15 percent of the jobs the economy shed last year; and also targets $30 billion in tax relief to small businesses, which will also helps spur growth. These provisions are designed to help entrepreneurs not only survive the recession, but to create jobs and put us back on a path of economic growth.

In recent months, smaller firms have struggled with plunging consumer demand, while also finding that needed credit has been shut off in frozen financial markets. The small business provisions in the legislation are designed to help address these problems with new authorities for the Small Business Administration and targeted tax relief for small businesses.  As is noted in greater detail below, the bill will:

Repeal the onerous 3% withholding tax on payments to government contractors;
Permit the Small Business Administration (SBA) to guarantee up to 95 percent of qualifying small business loans by eligible lenders (up from 85 percent), thereby encouraging lenders to lend;
Provide the SBA with new authority to unclog the secondary market for SBA-backed loans; and
Allow businesses to improve cash flow by providing a 5-year carryback of net operating losses (NOLs).

Extension of bonus depreciation. Businesses are allowed to recover the cost of capital expenditures over time according to a depreciation schedule. Last year, Congress temporarily allowed businesses to recover the costs of capital expenditures made in 2008 faster than the ordinary depreciation schedule would allow by permitting these businesses to immediately write-off fifty percent of the cost of depreciable property (e.g., equipment, tractors, wind turbines, solar panels, and computers) acquired in 2008 for use in the United States. The bill would extend this temporary benefit for capital expenditures incurred in 2009.
Extension of enhanced small business expensing. In order to help small businesses quickly recover the cost of certain capital expenses, small business taxpayers may elect to write-off the cost of these expenses in the year of acquisition in lieu of recovering these costs over time through depreciation. Until the end of 2010, small business taxpayers are allowed to write-off up to $125,000 (indexed for inflation) of capital expenditures subject to a phase-out once capital expenditures exceed $500,000 (indexed for inflation). Last year, Congress temporarily increased the amount that small businesses could write-off for capital expenditures incurred in 2008 to $250,000 and increased the phase-out threshold for 2008 to $800,000. The bill would extend these temporary increases for capital expenditures incurred in 2009.
5-year carryback of net operating losses. Under current law, net operating losses may be carried back to the two years before the year that the loss arises (the “carryback period”) and carried forward to each of the succeeding twenty years after the year that the loss arises (the “carryforward period”). Losses that are carried back may generally only be used to offset ninety percent (90%) of a taxpayer’s alternative minimum tax liability. For 2008 losses and 2009 losses, the bill would extend the maximum carryback period for net operating losses from two years to five years and would allow net operating loss carry backs to be used to offset one hundred percent (100%) of the taxpayer’s alternative minimum tax liability. The 2008 losses and 2009 losses eligible for this carry back provision will be, at the election of the taxpayer, for either (1) losses incurred in taxable years ending in 2008 and 2009 or (2) losses incurred in taxable years beginning in 2008 and 2009. The net operating losses of companies electing this carry back provision will be reduced by ten percent (10%). This benefit would be denied to companies that received money from the Temporary Asset Relief Program, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac.
By allowing businesses to improve cash flow by providing a 5-year carryback of net operating losses (NOLs), the bill would allow businesses to write off 90% of losses incurred in 2008 and 2009 against taxes assessed over the previous five years (current law limits NOL carryback to the previous two years).  This would not be available to companies that have benefited under the TARP.
Incentives to hire unemployed veterans and disconnected youth. Under current law, businesses are allowed to claim a work opportunity tax credit equal to 40 percent of the first $6,000 of wages paid to employees of one of nine targeted groups. The bill would create two new targeted groups of prospective employees: (1) unemployed veterans; and (2) disconnected youth. An individual would qualify as an unemployed veteran if they were discharged or released from active duty from the Armed Forces during 2008, 2009 or 2010 and received unemployment compensation for more than four weeks during the year before being hired. An individual qualifies as a disconnected youth if they are between the ages of 16 and 25 and have not been regularly employed or attended school in the past 6 months.
Repeal of Treasury Section 382 Notice. Last year, the Treasury Department issued Notice 2008-83, which liberalized rules in the tax code that are intended to prevent taxpayers that acquire companies from claiming losses that were incurred by the acquired company prior to the taxpayer’s ownership of the company. The bill would repeal this Notice prospectively.
Small Business Credit: $430 million for new lending assistance and loan guarantee authorities to make loans more attractive to lenders and free up capital. The number of loans guaranteed under the SBA’s 7(a) business loan program was down 57% in the first quarter of this year compared to last.

Rural Business-Cooperative Service: $100 million for rural business grants and loans to guarantee $2 billion in loans for rural businesses at a time of unprecedented demand due to the credit crunch. Private sector lenders are increasingly turning to this program to help businesses get access to capital.

Industrial Technology Services: $100 million, including $70 million for the Technology Innovation Program to accelerate research in potentially revolutionary technologies with high job growth potential, and $30 million for the Manufacturing Extension Partnerships to help small and mid-size manufacturers compete globally by providing them with access to technology.

Economic Development Assistance: $250 million to address long-term economic distress in urban industrial cores and rural areas distributed based on need and ability to create jobs and attract private investment. EDA leverages $10 in private investments for $1 in federal funds.

c. Tax Incentives for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency to Spur Energy Savings and Create Green Jobs ($20 billion over 10 years)

Long-term extension and modification of renewable energy production tax credit. The bill would extend the placed-in-service date for wind facilities for three years (through December 31, 2012). The bill would also extend the placed-in-service date for three years (through December 31, 2013) for certain other qualifying facilities: closed-loop biomass; open-loop biomass; geothermal; small irrigation; hydropower; landfill gas; waste-to-energy; and marine renewable facilities.
Temporary election to claim the investment tax credit in lieu of the production tax credit. Under current law, facilities that produce electricity from solar facilities are eligible to take a thirty percent (30%) investment tax credit in the year that the facility is placed in service. Facilities that produce electricity from wind, closed-loop biomass, open-loop biomass, geothermal, small irrigation, hydropower, landfill gas, waste-to-energy, and marine renewable facilities are eligible for a production tax credit. The production tax credit is payable over a ten-year period. Because of current market conditions, it is difficult for many renewable projects to find financing due to the uncertain future tax positions of potential investors in these projects. The bill would allow facilities that are placed-in-service in 2009 and 2010 to elect to claim the investment tax credit in lieu of the production tax credit.
Repeal subsidized energy financing limitation on the investment tax credit. Under current law, the investment tax credit must be reduced if the property qualifying for the investment tax credit is also financed with industrial development bonds or through any other Federal, State, or local subsidized financing program. The bill would repeal this subsidized energy financing limitation on the investment tax credit in order to allow businesses and individuals to qualify for the full amount of the investment tax credit even if such property is financed with industrial development bonds or through any other subsidized energy financing.
Removal of dollar limitations on certain energy credits. Under current law, businesses are allowed to claim a thirty percent (30%) tax credit for qualified small wind energy property (capped at $4,000). Individuals are allowed to claim a thirty percent (30%) tax credit for qualified solar water heating property (capped at $2,000), qualified small wind energy property (capped at $500 per kilowatt of capacity, up to $4,000), and qualified geothermal heat pumps (capped at $2,000). The bill would repeal the individual dollar caps. As a result, each of these properties would be eligible for an uncapped thirty percent (30%) credit.
Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (“CREBs”). The bill authorizes an additional $1.6 billion of new clean renewable energy bonds to finance facilities that generate electricity from the following resources: wind; closed-loop biomass; open-loop biomass; geothermal; small irrigation; hydropower; landfill gas; marine renewable; and trash combustion facilities. This $1.6 billion authorization will be subdivided into thirds: 1/3 will be available for qualifying projects of State/local/tribal governments; 1/3 for qualifying projects of public power providers; and 1/3 for qualifying projects of electric cooperatives.
Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds. The bill authorizes an addition $2.4 billion of qualified energy conservation bonds to finance State, municipal and tribal government programs and initiatives designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The bill would also clarify that qualified energy conservation bonds may be issued to make loans and grants for capital expenditures to implement green community programs.
Tax credits for energy-efficient improvements to existing homes. The bill would extend the tax credits for improvements to energy-efficient existing homes through 2010. Under current law, individuals are allowed a tax credit equal to ten percent (10%) of the amount paid or incurred by the taxpayer for qualified energy efficiency improvements installed during the taxable year. This tax credit is capped at $50 for any advanced main air circulating fan, $150 for any qualified natural gas, propane, oil furnace or hot water boiler, and $300 for any item of energy-efficient building property. For 2009 and 2010, the bill would increase the amount of the tax credit to thirty percent (30%) of the amount paid or incurred by the taxpayer for qualified energy efficiency improvements during the taxable year. The bill would also eliminate the property-by-property dollar caps on this tax credit and provide an aggregate $1,500 cap on all property qualifying for the credit.
Tax credits for alternative fuel pumps. The alternative refueling property credit provides a tax credit to businesses (e.g., gas stations) that install alternative fuel pumps, such as fuel pumps that dispense E85 fuel, hydrogen, and natural gas. For 2009 and 2010, the bill would increase the 30% alternative refueling property credit for businesses (capped at $30,000) to 50% (capped at $50,000). Hydrogen refueling pumps would remain at a 30% credit percentage; however, the cap for hydrogen refueling pumps will be increased to $200,000. In addition, the bill would increase the 30% alternative refueling property credit for individuals (capped at $1,000) to 50% (capped at $2,000). This proposal is estimated to cost $54 million over 10 years.

Enhanced R&D Credit. The bill would provide for an enhanced twenty percent (20%) R&D credit in taxable years beginning in 2009 and 2010 for research expenditures incurred in the fields of fuel cells, battery technology, renewable energy, energy conservation technology, efficient transmission and distribution of electricity, and carbon capture and sequestration. This proposal is estimated to cost $18 million over 10 years.

d. Tax Incentives for State and Local Governments

Eliminate costs imposed on State and local governments by the alternative minimum tax. The alternative minimum tax (AMT) can increase the costs of issuing tax-exempt private activity bonds imposed on State and local governments. Under current law, interest on tax-exempt private activity bonds is generally subject to the AMT. This limits the marketability of these bonds and, therefore, forces State and local governments to issue these bonds at higher interest rates. Last year, Congress excluded one category of private activity bonds (i.e., tax-exempt housing bonds) from the AMT. The bill would exclude the remaining categories of private activity bonds from the AMT if the bond is issued in 2009 or 2010.
Qualified school construction bonds. The bill creates a new category of tax credit bonds for the construction, rehabilitation, or repair of public school facilities or for the acquisition of land on which a public school facility will be constructed. There is a national limitation on the amount of qualified school construction bonds that may be issued by State and local governments of $22 billion ($11 billion allocated initially in 2009 and the remainder allocated in 2010). There is a national limitation on the amount of qualified school construction bonds that may be issued by Indian tribal governments of $400 million ($200 million allocated initially in 2009 and the remainder allocated in 2010).
Extension and increase in authorization for qualified zone academy bonds (QZAB). The bill would allow an additional $1.4 billion of QZAB issuing authority to State and local governments in 2009 and 2010, which can be used to finance renovations, equipment purchases, developing course material, and training teachers and personnel at a qualified zone academy. In general, a qualified zone academy is any public school (or academic program within a public school) below college level that is located in an empowerment zone or enterprise community and is designed to cooperate with businesses to enhance the academic curriculum and increase graduation and employment rates. QZABs are a form of tax credit bonds which offer the holder a Federal tax credit instead of interest.
Tax credit bond option for State and local governments. The Federal government provides significant financial support to State and local governments through the federal tax exemption for interest on municipal bonds. Both tax credit bonds and tax-exempt bonds provide a subsidy to municipalities by reducing the cash interest payments that a State or local government must make on its debt. Tax credit bonds differ from tax-exempt bonds in two principal ways: (1) interest paid on tax credit bonds is taxable; and (2) a portion of the interest paid on tax credit bonds takes the form of a Federal tax credit. The Federal tax credit offsets a portion of the cash interest payment that the State or local government would otherwise need to make on the borrowing. The bill would provide State and local governments with the option of issuing a tax credit bond instead of a tax-exempt governmental obligation bond. Because the market for tax credits is currently small given current economic conditions, the bill would allow the State or local government to elect to receive a direct payment from the Federal government equal to the subsidy that would have otherwise been delivered through the Federal tax credit for bonds issued in 2009 and 2010.

Repeal three percent (3%) withholding on government contractors. For payments made after December 31, 2010, current law requires withholding at a three percent rate on certain payments to persons providing property or services made by Federal, State, and local governments. The withholding is required regardless of whether the government entity making the payment is the recipient of the property or services (those with less than $100 million in annual expenditures for property or services are exempt). Numerous government entities and taxpayers have raised concerns about the application of this provision. The bill would repeal this provision.

De minimis safe harbor exception for tax-exempt interest expensing for financial institutions. Under current law, financial institutions are not allowed to take a deduction for the portion of their interest expense that is allocable to such institution’s investments in tax-exempt municipal bonds. In determining the portion of interest expense that is allocable to investments in tax-exempt municipal bonds, the bill would exclude investments in tax-exempt municipal bonds issued during 2009 and 2010 to the extent that these investments constitute less than two percent (2%) of the average adjusted bases of all the assets of the financial institution.
Modification of small issuer exception to tax-exempt interest expense allocation rules for financial institutions. As described above, financial institutions are not allowed to take a deduction for the portion of their interest expense that is allocable to such institution’s investments in tax-exempt municipal bonds. For purposes of this interest disallowance rule, bonds that are issued by a “qualified small issuers” are not taken into account as investments in tax-exempt municipal bonds. Under current law, a “qualified small issuer” is defined as any issuer that reasonably anticipates that the amount of its tax-exempt obligations (other than certain private activity bonds) will not exceed $10,000,000. The bill would increase this dollar threshold to $30,000,000 when determining whether a tax-exempt obligation issued in 2009 and 2010 qualifies for this small issuer exception. The small issuer exception would also apply to an issue if all of the ultimate borrowers in such issue would separately qualify for the exception. For these purposes, the issuer of a qualified 501(c)(3) bond shall be deemed to be the ultimate borrower on whose behalf a bond was issued.
e. Tax Recovery for Recovery Zones

Recovery Zone Bonds. The bill would create a new category of tax credit bonds for investment in economic recovery zones. The bill would authorize $10 billion in recovery zone economic development bonds and $15 billion in recovery zone facility bonds. These bonds could be issued during 2009 and 2010. Each state would receive a share of the national allocation based on that state=s job losses in 2008 as a percentage of national job losses in 2008. That allocation would be sub-allocated to local municipalities. Municipalities receiving an allocation of these bonds would be permitted to use these bonds to invest in infrastructure, job training, education, and economic development in areas within the boundaries of the State, city or county (as the case may be) that has significant poverty, unemployment or home foreclosures.
Tribal Economic Development Bonds. Under current law, tribal governments are limited in their ability to issue tax-exempt bonds. Projects funded by bonds issued by tribal governments must satisfy an “essential governmental function” requirement. This requirement is not imposed on projects funded by bonds issued by State and local governments, and can limit the ability of tribal governments to use tax-exempt bonds for economic development. The bill would temporarily allow tribal governments to issue $2 billion in tax-exempt bonds for projects without this restriction in order to spur economic development on tribal lands, and would require the Secretary of the Treasury to study whether this restriction should be repealed on a permanent basis.
II. SAVE PUBLIC SECTOR JOBS AND PROTECTING VITAL SERVICES

a. Medicaid Aid to States (FMAP):
Approximately $87 billion to states, increasing through the end of FY 2010 the share of Medicaid costs the federal government reimburses states, with additional relief tied to rates of unemployment. In the previous recession the federal government increased its contribution to Medicaid to help states avoid cuts in health benefits at a time when low-income patient loads are increasing and State revenues are declining.

b. State Education and Other Budget Priorities:
$120 billion to states and school districts to stabilize budgets and prevent tax increases and deep cuts to critical education programs, including:
$41 billion to local school districts through Title I ($13 billion), IDEA ($13 billion), a new School Modernization and Repair Program ($14 billion), and the Education Technology program ($1 billion).
$79 billion in state fiscal relief, including: $39 billion to local school districts and public colleges and universities distributed through existing state and federal formulas; $15 billion to states as bonus grants as a reward for meeting key performance measures; and
$25 billion to states for other high priority needs such as public safety and other critical services, which may include education.

c. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families:
$2.5 billion for block grants to help States deal with the surge in families needing help during the recession and to prevent them from cutting work programs and services for abused and neglected children.

d. State and Local Law Enforcement:
$4 billion to support state and local law enforcement including $3 billion for the Byrne Justice Assistance (JAG) formula grants to support local law enforcement efforts with equipment and operating costs, and $1 billion for the COPS hiring grant program, to hire about 13,000 new police officers for three years. The grantee is responsible for at least 25% in matching funds and must commit to use their own funds to keep the officer on board in the fourth year.
Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Funding: Benefits for Pennsylvania
Distributed to Localities: $43,946,361
Distributed Through State: $68,456,337
Total: $112,402,698

Periodic Census and Programs, Communications:
$1 billion for work necessary to ensure a successful 2010 census.

III. Helping Workers Hurt by the Recession

In this economic crisis, high unemployment and rising costs have put a huge strain on many American families.  The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contains a series of provisions to help, including helping workers train and find jobs, extending unemployment benefits, and increasing food stamp benefits.  Not only will these steps provide relief to American families, they will help jumpstart our economy as these funds are spent quickly and have the most “bang for the buck” in creating jobs and spurring economic growth.

“Increased income support has been part of the federal response to most recessions, and for good reason.  It is the most efficient way to prime the economy’s pump.  … Every dollar spent on UI benefits generates an estimated $1.63 in near-term GDP.  Boosting food stamp payments by $1 increases GDP by $1.73.  People who receive these benefits are hard-pressed and will spend any financial aid they receive very quickly.”  (Chief Economist Mark Zandi of Moodys.com, 1/21/09)

Unemployment Insurance Provisions: Benefits for Pennsylvania
Total Recipients of State and Federal Benefits (January-December 2009): 1,056,058
New EUC Beneficiaries (April – December 2009): 155,691

Details:

Helping Workers Find Jobs
Training and Employment Services: $4 billion for job training including formula grants for adult, dislocated worker, and youth services (including $1.2 billion to create up to one million summer jobs for youth). The needs of workers also will be met through dislocated worker national emergency grants, new competitive grants for worker training in high growth and emerging industry sectors (with priority consideration to “green” jobs and healthcare), and increased funds for the YouthBuild program. Green jobs training will include preparing workers for activities supported by other economic recovery funds, such as retrofitting of buildings, green construction, and the production of renewable electric power.
Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants: $500 million for state formula grants to help persons with disabilities prepare for gainful employment.
Employment Services Grants: $500 million to match unemployed individuals to job openings through state employment service agencies and allow states to provide customized services. Funds are targeted to states with the greatest need based on labor force, unemployment, and long-term unemployed rates.
Community Service Employment for Older Americans: $120 million to provide subsidized community service jobs to an additional 24,000 low-income older Americans.

Unemployment Insurance Benefits
Every dollar in unemployment benefits creates at least $1.63 in economic activity, according to chief economist Mark Zandi of Moodys.com.
Benefits Extension: $27 billion to continue the current extended unemployment benefits program – which provides up to 33 weeks of extended benefits – through December 31, 2009 given rising unemployment.
Increased Benefits: $9 billion to increase the current average unemployment insurance benefit from roughly $300 per week, paid out of State trust funds, by $25 per week using Federal funds, through December 2009. There are currently 5.3 million workers receiving regular UI and an additional 1.9 million receiving extended benefits.
Unemployment Insurance Modernization: Provides funds to states though a “Reed Act” distribution, tied to states’ meeting specific reforms to increase unemployment insurance coverage for low-wage, part-time, and other jobless workers.

Increasing Food Stamp Benefits and Other Food Assistance
Every dollar in food stamps creates at least $1.73 in economic activity, according to chief economist Mark Zandi of the Moodys.com.
Increases food stamp benefits by over 13% to help offset rising food costs for more than 31 million Americans, half of whom are children.
Provides $726 million for Afterschool Meals to increase the number of states that provide free healthy dinners to children in need.
Provides $200 million for Emergency Food and Shelter to help local community organizations provide food, shelter, and support services for the nation’s hungry and homeless and for people in economic crisis.
Provides $200 million for formula grants to states for elderly nutrition services including Meals on Wheels and Congregate Meals.
Provides $150 million for the Emergency Food Assistance Program to purchase commodities for food banks to refill emptying shelves.
Food Stamps: Benefits for Pennsylvania
Increase in Food Stamp Benefits: $779 million
Participants Receiving Stimulus: 1,235,000
Food Stamp Administration Funding: $12.6 million

a. COBRA Healthcare for the Unemployed:
$30.3 billion to extend health insurance coverage to the unemployed, extending the period of COBRA coverage for older and tenured workers beyond the 18 months provided under current law. Specifically, workers 55 and older, and workers who have worked for an employer for 10 or more years will be able to retain their COBRA coverage until they become Medicare eligible or secure coverage through a subsequent employer.
In addition, the bill subsidizes the first 12 months of COBRA coverage for eligible persons who have lost their jobs on or after September 1, 2008 at a 65 percent subsidy rate, the same rate provided under the Health Care Tax Credit for unemployed workers under the Trade Adjustment Assistance program.

b. Medicaid Coverage for the Unemployed:
Provides 100 percent federal funding through 2010 for optional State Medicaid coverage of individuals (and their dependents) who are receiving unemployment benefits or have exhausted those benefits and have no health insurance coverage. Other optional coverage groups are individuals (and their dependents) who are involuntarily unemployed and uninsured and whose family income does not exceed 200 percent of poverty, and unemployed uninsured individuals who are receiving food stamps.

c. Attacking the Housing Crisis
Public Housing Capital Fund: $5 billion for building repair and modernization, including critical safety repairs. Every dollar of Capital Fund expenditures produces $2.12 in economic return. $4 billion of the funds will be distributed to public housing authorities through the existing formula and $1 billion will be awarded through a competitive process for projects that improve energy efficiency.
HOME Investment Partnerships: $1.5 billion to help local communities build and rehabilitate low-income housing using green technologies. Thousands of ready-to-go housing projects have been stalled by the credit crunch. Funds are distributed by formula.
Native American Housing Block Grants: $500 million to rehabilitate and improve energy efficiency at some of the over 42,000 housing units maintained by Native American housing programs. Half of the funding will be distributed by formula and half will be competitively awarded to projects that can be started quickly.
Neighborhood Stabilization: $4.2 billion to help communities purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed, vacant properties in order to create more affordable housing and reduce neighborhood blight.
Homeless Assistance Grants: $1.5 billion for the Emergency Shelter Grant Program to provide short term rental assistance, housing relocation, and stabilization services for families during the economic crisis. Funds are distributed by formula.
Emergency Shelter Grant Program: Benefits for Pennsylvania
Additional Program Funding: $90.6 million
Estimated number of households assisted by new funds:19,800

Rural Housing Insurance Fund: $500 million to support $22 billion in direct loans and loan guarantees to help rural families and individuals buy homes during the credit crunch. Last year these programs received a record number of applications.
Self-Help and Assisted Homeownership Program: $10 million for rural, high-need areas to undertake projects using sustainable and energy-efficient building and rehabilitation practices. Funds will be awarded by competition to projects that can begin quickly.
Lead Paint: $100 million for competitive grants to local governments and nonprofit organizations to remove lead-based paint hazards in low-income housing.
Rural Community Facilities: $200 million to support $1.2 billion in grants and loans to rural areas for critical community facilities, such as for healthcare, education, fire and rescue, day care, community centers, and libraries. There are over $1.2 billion in applications pending.

d. Payments to Disabled and Elderly: Increasing Social Security Insurance (SSI) Payments
$4.2 billion to help 7.5 million low-income disabled and elderly individuals with rising costs by providing an additional SSI payment in 2009 equal to the average monthly federal payment under the program (approximately $450 for an individual and $630 for a couple). This one-time payment will serve as an immediate economic stimulus as half of SSI recipients have no other form of income and the other half average outside income of less than $450 per month.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) : Benefits for Pennsylvania
Additional Funding: $190.5 million
Number of People that Will Benefit from Additional Funding: 333,800 million

e. Community Services Block Grant
$1 billion for grants to local communities to support employment, food, housing, and healthcare efforts serving those hardest hit by the recession. Community action agencies have seen dramatic increases in requests for their assistance due to rising unemployment, housing foreclosures, and high food and fuel prices.

Child Support Enforcement: $1 billion to provide federal incentive funds for states to collect support owed to families.

In 2006, legislation cut federal funding for child support enforcement by precluding states from receiving federal matching funds when reinvesting incentive funding for the program.  This bill would help tens of thousands of families by suspending this change in FYs 2009 and 2010, thereby restoring full federal funding for collecting child support owed to families.

g.  Additional Provisions:

Community Development Block Grants: $1 billion for community and economic development projects including housing and services for those hit hard by tough economic times.

Emergency Food and Shelter: $200 million to help local community organizations provide food, shelter, and support services to the nation’s hungry, homeless, and people in economic crisis including one-month utility payments to prevent service cut-off and one-month rent or mortgage assistance to prevent evictions or help people leave shelters. Funds are distributed by formula based on unemployment and poverty rates.

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance: $1 billion to help low-income families pay for home heating and cooling at a time of rising energy costs.
Social Security Administration Disability Backlog and Claims Processing: $500 million to help the Social Security Administration process a steep rise in disability and retirement claims, getting people their benefits faster, and preventing existing backlogs from getting worse. Within this total, $40 million will help SSI upgrade health information technology.

Centers for Independent Living: $200 million for state formula grants to help individuals with disabilities continue to live in their communities.

AmeriCorps Programs: $200 million to put approximately 16,000 additional AmeriCorps members to work doing national service, meeting needs of vulnerable populations and communities during the recession.

Compassion Capital Fund: $100 million for grants to faith- and community-based organizations to provide critical safety net services to needy individuals and families.
Department of Labor Worker Protection and Oversight: $80 million to ensure that worker protection laws are enforced as recovery infrastructure investments are carried out.

IV.  Creating Jobs by Modernizing Roads, Bridges, Transit and
Waterways

To build a 21st century economy, we must create jobs rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, modernizing public buildings, and putting people to work cleaning up our air, water and land. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will make large investments to repair and modernize thousands of miles of roadways in the U.S. and providing new mass transit options for millions of Americans.  These provisions in total would create about 1.5 million American jobs—almost half the jobs in the plan as a whole.  Unprecedented accountability and transparency measures are built in to the legislation to ensure that tax dollars are spent wisely.

“Increasing infrastructure spending will also greatly boost the economy… Most of the infrastructure money will be spent on hiring workers and on materials and equipment produced domestically.” (Chief Economist Mark Zandi of Moody’s Economy.com, 1/21/09, P.9)

“Increased infrastructure spending is … a particularly effective way to stimulate the economy…The boost to GDP from every dollar spent on public infrastructure is large—an estimated $1.59—and there is little doubt that the nation has underinvested in infrastructure for some time, to the increasing detriment of the nation’s long-term growth prospects.” (Chief Economist Mark Zandi of Moody’s Economy.com, 1/21/09, P.11)

Infrastructure Investment Formula Funding: Benefits for Pennsylvania

Highways and Bridges: $1,254,266,677
Transit Projects:
Urban: $222,749,874
Rural: $22,692,988
Total: $245,442,862
Fixed Guideway Modernization: $134,193,083
Clean Water Projects: $229,937,103
AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) Survey of Ready-to-Go Highway & Bridge Projects in PA:
Number of Projects: 319
Dollar Value: $1,030 million
Distribution of Highway Infrastructure Funds to Large Urbanized Areas with Populations Greater than 200,000
Philadelphia    $92,384,371
South Eastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) Infrastructure/Transit Projects that the Stimulus will Fund in Congressman Sestak’s 7th District

Highway grade crossing improvement along the 101/102 line in Upper Darby.  “This project will greatly improve traffic flow.”
Install the Audio Visual Public Address System including public address, emergency call boxes, and message signs along the Rt 101/102
Rail replacement along the 101/102 line and other projects that will for fewer service disruptions for customers
Fiber optic cable for power control & passenger information system along Rt. 101/102 lines
Replace warning device on Route 101 at 10 crossings to lessen impact on traffic.
Restroom renovation at 69th Street
Renovate the Folcroft, Morton, and Clifton Aldan stations
40 hybrid buses
Track bed stabilization on R3 line from Elwyn to Wawa
Malvern Station improvements to include a new pedestrian underpass, new energy efficient lighting, intertrack fencing, and expansion and improvements to parking lot
Overhall of the power substations at Lenni, Morton, and Clifton
Construct a 90 space parking lot at the Elwyn Station
Rehabilitate the Bridgeport Norristown Viaduct

Details of Legislation:

a. Modernizing Roads and Bridges: Highway Infrastructure
$30 billion for highway and bridge construction projects. It is estimated that states have over 5,100 projects totaling over $64 billion that could be awarded within 180 days. These projects create jobs in the short term while saving commuters time and money in the long term. In 2006, the Department of Transportation estimated $8.5 billion was needed to maintain current systems and $61.4 billion was needed to improve highways and bridges.
Creates 835,000 jobs through investment in transportation, with $30 billion for highway construction.  These projects create jobs in the short term while saving commuters time and money in the long term.
States have over 5,100 projects totaling over $64 billion that could be under contract within 180 days.
In 2006, the Department of Transportation estimated $8.5 billion was needed to maintain current systems and $61.4 billion was needed to improve highways and bridges.
Includes strict accountability measures to ensure that highways and transit funds get out the door quickly to create jobs.  Requires states to obligate 50 percent of the highway and transit funding within 180 days or the Transportation Department can reclaim some of the states’ highway/transit funding in the bill.
b. Transit
This section creates 200,000 jobs by making investments in transit and rail to reduce traffic congestion and our dependence on foreign oil ($13 billion).
Provides funds for new construction of commuter and light rail, modernizing existing transit systems, and purchasing buses and equipment needed to increase public transportation and improve intermodal and transit facilities; Improves the speed and capacity of intercity passenger rail service through grants for Amtrak and intercity passenger rail construction; Public transportation saves as much as 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline and reduces carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons each year; There are 787 ready-to-go transit projects totaling $15.9 billion and $1.6 billion in ready-to-go state intercity passenger rail projects. [American Public Transit Association; States for Passenger Rail Coalition]

New Construction: $2.5 billion for Capital Investment Grants for new commuter rail or other light rail systems to increase public use of mass transit and to speed projects already in construction. The Federal Transit Administration has $2.4 billion in pre-approved projects.
Upgrades and Repair: $2 billion to modernize existing transit systems, including renovations to stations, security systems, computers, equipment, structures, signals, and communications. Funds will be distributed through the existing formula. The repair backlog is nearly $50 billion.
Transit Capital Assistance: $7.5 billion to purchase buses and equipment needed to increase public transportation and improve intermodal and transit facilities. The Department of Transportation estimates a $3.2 billion maintenance backlog and $9.2 billion in needed improvements. The American Public Transportation Association identified 787 ready-to-go transit projects totaling $15.5 billion. Funds will be distributed through the existing formulas.
Amtrak and Intercity Passenger Rail Construction Grants:
$1.1 billion to improve the speed and capacity of intercity passenger rail service. The Department of Transportation’s Inspector General estimates the North East Corridor alone has a backlog of over $10 billion.
Airport Improvement Grants:
$3 billion for airport improvement projects that will improve safety and reduce congestion. An estimated $49.7 billion in eligible airport infrastructure projects are needed between 2007-2011.
Transportation Security Administration Explosive Detection Systems:
$500 million to install Aviation Explosive Detection Systems in the nation’s airports, improving security, and making life easier on travelers by speeding security lines. Funds are competitively awarded based on security risk.

c. Coast Guard Bridges
$150 million for ready-to-go investments to repair or remove bridges deemed hazardous to marine navigation, thereby removing obstructions and improving the safety of marine navigation.

d. Technology Improvements for a More Efficient and Secure Government
Social Security Administration Modernization: $400 million to replace the 30 year old Social Security Administration’s National Computer Center to meet growing needs for processing retirement and disability claims and records storage.
Farm Service Agency: $245 million for critical IT improvements to systems that have been unable to handle workload increases.
State Department Technology: $276 million to upgrade and modernize information technology platforms for the Department to meet security requirements post-9/11.
Department of Agriculture: $44 million for repairs and security improvements at USDA’s headquarters.

e. Department of Defense Facilities
Medical Facilities: $3.75 billion for new construction of hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers, and $455 million in renovations to provide state-of-the-art medical care to service members and their families.
Facilities Renovations: $2.1 billion to address needed repairs to military facilities.
Troop Housing: $1.2 billion for new construction and $154 million for renovations to improve housing for our troops.
Child Development Center: $360 million for new child development centers.
Guard and Reserve: $400 million for new construction to support Guard and Reserve units across the country with operations and training facilities and utilities infrastructure.

f. Veterans Administration Facilities
Veterans Medical Facilities: $950 million for veterans’ medical facilities. The Department has identified a $5 billion backlog in needed repairs, including energy efficiency projects, at its 153 medical facilities.
Veterans Cemeteries: $50 million to put people to work making monument and memorial repairs at cemeteries for American heroes.

g. Border Ports of Entry:
$1.25 billion to construct GSA and Customs and Border Protection land ports of entry to improve border security, make trade and travel easier and reduce wait times, and to procure non-intrusive inspection technology at sea ports of entry, which is used to scan cargo containers to reduce the risk that containers can be used to smuggle weapons of mass destruction.

h. Job Corps Facilities:
$300 million to upgrade job training facilities serving at-risk youth while improving energy efficiency.

i. Construction on Public Lands and Parks:
$3.1 billion for infrastructure projects on federal lands including improvements to visitor facilities, road and trail restoration, preservation of buildings of cultural and historic importance, rehabilitation of abandoned mines and oil fields, and environmental cleanup projects. This includes $1.8 billion for the National Park Service, $325 million for the Bureau of Land Management, $300 million for the National Wildlife Refuges and National Fish Hatcheries, and $650 million for the Forest Service.

j. Clean Water and Water Resources

This section creates more than 375,000 jobs by modernizing our nation’s water systems to strengthen the safety and cleanliness of our water and to ensure that 3.4 million rural households have new or improved service; Experts note that $16 billion in water projects could be quickly obligated.  [National Governors’ Association and the Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators]; expands efforts at environmental restoration, flood protection, hydropower, and navigation infrastructure and providing clean, reliable drinking water to rural areas critical to the economy through the Army Corp of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation; strengthens environmental cleanup efforts for Superfund, cleanup of petroleum leaks from underground storage tanks, nuclear waste cleanup, and brownfields that have the added benefit of creating jobs.

$19 billion for clean water, flood control, and environmental restoration:
Clean Water State Revolving Fund: $6 billion for loans to help communities upgrade wastewater treatment systems. EPA estimates a $388 billion funding gap. The Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators found that 26 states have $10 billion in approved water projects.
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund: $2 billion for loans for drinking water infrastructure. EPA estimates there is a $274 billion funding gap. The National Governors Association reported that there are $6 billion in ready-to-go projects, which could quickly be obligated.
Rural Water and Waste Disposal: $1.5 billion to support $3.8 billion in grants and loans to help communities fund drinking water and wastewater treatment systems. In 2008, there were $2.4 billion in requests for water and waste loans and $990 million for water and waste grants went unfunded.
Corps of Engineers: $4.5 billion for environmental restoration, flood protection, hydropower, and navigation infrastructure critical to the economy. The Corps has a construction backlog of $61 billion.
Bureau of Reclamation: $500 million to provide clean, reliable drinking water to rural areas and to ensure adequate water supply to western localities impacted by drought. The Bureau has backlogs of more than $1 billion in rural water projects and water reuse and recycling projects.
Watershed Infrastructure: $400 million for the Natural Resources Conservation Service watershed improvement programs to design and build flood protection and water quality projects, repair aging dams, and purchase and restore conservation easements in river flood zones.
International Boundary and Water Commission: $224 million to repair flood control systems along the international segment of the Rio Grande damaged by hurricane Katrina and other serious storms.

k. Environmental Cleanup
Superfund Hazardous Waste Cleanup: $800 million to clean up hazardous and toxic waste sites that threaten health and the environment. EPA has 1,255 sites on its National Priority List, selected based on a hazard ranking system. There are many Superfund sites ready for construction, but not funded due to budget shortfalls and over 600 sites with ongoing construction that could be accelerated.
Leaking Underground Storage Tanks: $200 million for enforcement and cleanup of petroleum leaks from underground storage tanks at approximately 1,600 additional sites. There are an estimated 116,000 sites with the potential to contaminate important water supplies.
Nuclear Waste Cleanup: $500 million for nuclear waste cleanup at sites contaminated as a result of the nation’s past nuclear activities. Accelerating the completion of projects will reduce long-term costs.
Closed Military Bases: $300 million for cleanup activities at closed military installations allowing local communities to redevelop these properties for productive use. The Department estimates that there is a $3.5 billion environmental cleanup backlog at bases closed during previous BRAC rounds.
NOAA Habitat Restoration: $400 million for ready-to-go habitat restoration projects.
Brownfields: $100 million for competitive grants for evaluation and cleanup of former industrial and commercial sites – turning them from problem properties to productive community use. Last year EPA was only able to fund 37% of Brownfields applications.

l. Reducing Wildfires Threats:
$850 million for hazardous fuels removal and other efforts to prevent wildfires on public lands. Making these investments today will create jobs in the short run, but also save long term costs of fighting fires in the future.
State and Private Forest Service Wildfire: $550 million for state and local volunteer programs and hazardous fuels reduction efforts which states and communities have determined are of the highest priority.
Federal Forest Service Wildfire: $300 million for urgently needed hazard reduction on federal lands.

m. Bureau of Indian Affairs: $500 million to address maintenance backlogs at schools, dams, detention and law enforcement facilities, and over 24,000 miles of roads. BIA schools alone have an over $1 billion construction and maintenance backlog including shamefully unsafe conditions.

n. National Treasures: $200 million, including $150 million to address the repair backlog at the Smithsonian and $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts/

V. Lowering Health Care Costs and Ensuring Broader Coverage

Affordable and quality health care is key to strong American economic growth.  The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act invests in bringing our health care system into the 21st century with information technology – that is proven to reduce costs, increase quality, and save lives.  The package also protects health coverage for millions of Americans who have lost their jobs in this recession by providing up to 12 months of subsidized COBRA health insurance continuation coverage and a temporary state option to cover jobless workers through Medicaid.  Modernizing our health care system will create hundreds of thousands of jobs.  Economist Mark Zandi estimates that, overall, this recovery package will save or create more than 250,000 jobs in the health care and education sectors.

Details:

a. Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act or
HITECH Act

Investing $20 billion in health information technology infrastructure and Medicare and Medicaid incentives to encourage doctors and hospitals to use HIT to electronically exchange patients’ health information.
Requiring the government to take a leadership role to develop standards by 2010 that allow for the nationwide electronic exchange and use of health information to improve quality and coordination of care.
Saving the government $10 billion and generating additional savings throughout the health sector, through improvements in quality of care and care coordination and reductions in medical errors and duplicative care.
Strengthening Federal privacy and security law to protect identifiable health information from misuse as the health care sector increases use of Health IT.

As a result of this legislation, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that approximately 90% of doctors and 70% of hospitals will be using comprehensive electronic health records within the next decade.

b. Healthcare Effectiveness Research:
$1.1 billion for Healthcare Research and Quality programs to compare the effectiveness of different medical treatments funded by Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP. Finding out what works best and educating patients and doctors will improve treatment.

c. Community Health Centers:
$1.5 billion, including $500 million to increase the number of uninsured Americans who receive quality healthcare and $1 billion to renovate clinics and make health information technology improvements. More than 400 applications submitted earlier this year for new or expanded CHC sites remain unfunded.

d. Training Primary Care Providers:
$600 million to address shortages and prepare our country for universal healthcare by training primary healthcare providers including doctors, dentists, and nurses as well as helping pay medical school expenses for students who agree to practice in underserved communities through the National Health Service Corps.

e. COBRA Extension:
$30.3 billion to extend health insurance coverage to the unemployed, extending the period of COBRA coverage for older and tenured workers beyond the 18 months provided under current law. Specifically, workers 55 and older, and workers who have worked for an employer for 10 or more years will be able to retain their COBRA coverage until they become Medicare eligible or secure coverage through a subsequent employer.
In addition, the bill subsidizes the first 12 months of COBRA coverage for eligible persons who have lost their jobs on or after September 1, 2008 at a 65 percent subsidy rate, the same rate provided under the Health Care Tax Credit for unemployed workers under the Trade Adjustment Assistance program.

f. Medicaid Expansion
The bill would give State Medicaid programs a temporary option of covering one or more of the following groups of unemployed individuals without health insurance (and their uninsured spouses and dependents): (1) individuals receiving unemployment benefits and individuals who have exhausted unemployment benefits; (2) individuals who are receiving food stamps and are not otherwise eligible for Medicaid; and (3) individuals in families with gross incomes below 200% of the poverty level. To qualify, individuals would have to be receiving or have exhausted unemployment benefits during the period September 1, 2008, through December 31, 2010, or be involuntarily separated from employment during this period. The federal government would assume 100% of the costs of benefits and administration for individuals enrolled under this option through December 31, 2010.
This funding is vitally needed because states are facing an unprecedented, massive fiscal crisis.  Total state budget gaps for FY 2009 (generally running from 7/1/08 through 6/30/09) are about $91 billion – $48 billion in gaps before state budgets were adopted last summer, which were closed by cutting services or raising revenues; and $43 billion in gaps which have opened up since then.
Budget deficits are also already projected for 39 states for the upcoming FY 2010.  Initial estimates of these shortfalls total over $80 billion.  As the full extent of FY 2010 deficits become known, state shortfalls are likely to equal $145 billion.
In response to these shortfalls, at least 22 states have already proposed or implemented cuts that will affect  eligibility for Medicaid or reduce services covered.  For example, South Carolina is limiting coverage for many Medicaid services, such as psychological counseling, physician visits, and routine physicals; and California and Utah are reducing services covered by their Medicaid programs.  Additionally, the governor of California has proposed cuts that will cause more than 400,000 adults to be denied Medicaid.
This $87 billion in State Medicaid Fiscal Relief will help states avoid cutting eligibility for Medicaid and scaling back the health care services covered. In addition to shoring up existing Medicaid coverage, increased federal assistance for Medicaid is an excellent economic stimulus.  According to economist Mark Zandi, every dollar of federal Medicaid aid results in $1.38 in increased economic activity.
g. Investing in Prevention and Wellness
Provides $3 billion for a new Prevention and Wellness Fund- the single largest investment in prevention in history. Includes funding for immunization programs that enable public health departments to operate childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization programs.
Includes funding for the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant, which provides needed resources to state and local public health departments to address prevention and wellness at the local level.
Funds hospital infection prevention programs to reduce the incidence of hospital-acquired infection.
Also assures funding for evidence-based clinical and community-based prevention strategies.
Over 75 percent of total health care dollars are spent on patients with one or more chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.  Numerous studies have shown that making increased investments in preventing these chronic conditions is one of the most effective ways to reduce health care spending, saving billions of dollars a year.
h. State Medicaid Fiscal Relief
Temporary Medicaid FMAP Increase.
Approximately $87 billion to states, increasing through the end of FY 2010 the share of Medicaid costs the federal government reimburses states, with additional relief tied to rates of unemployment. In the previous recession the federal government increased its contribution to Medicaid to help states avoid cuts in health benefits at a time when low-income patient loads are increasing and State revenues are declining.
Moratorium on Medicaid Regulations. Current law imposes a moratorium on six Medicaid regulations relating to cost limits on public providers, graduate medical education (GME) payments, provider taxes, rehabilitative services, targeted case management services, and school administration and transportation services. The bill would extend the current law moratorium on these six regulations, which expires on March 31, 2009, through June 30, 2009. The bill would also expand this moratorium to include a seventh Medicaid regulation relating to outpatient hospital services.
Temporary Extension of Work Transition Coverage. Under current law, individuals who leave welfare to go to work receive up to one year of Medicaid coverage so long as they continue working. This current transitional medical assistance (TMA) expires on June 30, 2009. The bill would extend the current law provision through December 31, 2010. In addition, the bill would give states the option of simplifying TMA eligibility determinations to reduce administrative burden and turnover.
Medicaid Protections for American Indians. The bill includes three provisions designed to improve Medicaid and CHIP coverage for Indians. The bill would prohibit state Medicaid programs from imposing cost-sharing requirements on Medicaid-eligible American Indians when the beneficiary is receiving services from an Indian health care provider or from a Contract Health Services (CHS) provider. The bill would also ensure that certain tribal, religious, spiritual, or cultural property would not be counted as a resource (asset) of an individual Indian for purposes determining Medicaid eligibility or estate recovery. Finally, the bill would require states to consult on an ongoing basis with Indian Health Programs and Urban Indian Organizations on matters relating to Medicaid and CHIP.

i. Indian Health Service Facilities: $550 million to modernize aging hospitals and health clinics and make healthcare technology upgrades to improve healthcare for underserved rural populations.

VI. Investing in Education for the 21st Century

A well-trained, college-educated workforce is key to a strong American economy and middle class. The economic crisis, combined with rising tuition prices and declining state support for higher education, threatens to put college out of reach for many students – forcing them to take a semester off or even skip college. Allowing students to be priced out of a college education will only further weaken our workforce and our economy. Economists, the business community, scientists and others agree that making strategic investments in education is a smart move to grow our economy and regain our competitive edge in the 21st century global economy.

Economists tell us that strategic investments in education are one of the best ways to help America become stronger, and more productive and competitive.  This recovery package will make bold investments to provide children with a 21st century education, modernize our schools and colleges, and make college more affordable.  Making investments to modernize our schools will create tens of thousands of jobs.  Economist Mark Zandi estimates that, overall, this recovery package will save or create more than 250,000 jobs in the education and health care sectors.

Specifically for the 7th Congressional District, for one example, the stimulus will provide:
$74,197,800 to area school districts, including $23,716,500 for construction funding, $13,961,200 for the execution of Title 1-A, and a $36,520,100 investment in IDEA special education programs.

Details:

a. Making College More Affordable
Pell Grants: $15.6 billion to increase the maximum Pell Grant by $500, from $4,850 to $5,350.
College Work-Study: $490 million to support undergraduate and graduate students who work.
Student Loan Limit Increase: Increases limits on unsubsidized Stafford loans by $2,000.
Student Aid Administration: $50 million to help the Department of Education administer surging student aid programs while navigating the changing student loan environment.

b. Modernizing our Schools and Universities – Creating Green Jobs
c. School Construction: $20 billion, including $14 billion for K-12 and $6 billion for higher education, for renovation and modernization, including technology upgrades and energy efficiency improvements. Also includes $100 million for school construction in communities that lack a local property tax base because they contain non-taxable federal lands such as military bases or Indian reservations, and $25 million to help charter schools build, obtain, and repair schools.
Ensure that at least 25 percent of funds will support projects that meet green standards, including projects such as installing green roofs, providing more accommodation for alternate transportation, and building renewable energy generation and heating systems.
States may reserve up to 1 percent of their funding to develop a school facilities database and school energy efficiency quality plan.
Make schools energy-efficient, creating jobs and saving taxpayers billions in energy costs.
Provide $14 billion to improve and repair public school facilities. Funds can be used to:
Improve the teaching and learning climate,
Replace light systems and security doors,
Repair heating and ventilation systems,
Bring facilities into compliance with fire, health, and safety codes,
Make necessary modifications to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and
Implement measures to eliminate exposure to mold, mildew and lead-based paint.
Provides $6 billion for colleges and universities for similar repair, renovation and modernization needs.

d. Update Schools with 21st Century Technology
Provide $1 billion for Enhancing Education Through Technology (EdTech) – a program which provides grants to schools to increase access to educational technology and further integrate technology into the classroom with additional computers, science labs and teacher technology training.

e. Investing in K-12 Education
IDEA Special Education: $13 billion for formula grants to increase the federal share of special education costs and prevent these mandatory costs from forcing states to cut other areas of education.
Title I Help for Disadvantaged Kids: $13 billion for grants to help disadvantaged kids in nearly every school district and more than half of all public schools reach high academic standards.
Statewide Data Systems: $250 million for competitive grants to states to design and develop data systems that analyze individual student data to find ways to improve student achievement, providing teachers and administrators with effective tools.
Education for Homeless Children and Youth: $66 million for formula grants to states to provide services to homeless children including meals and transportation when high unemployment and home foreclosures have created an influx of homeless kids.

f. Early Childhood Development
Child Care Development Block Grant: $2 billion to provide child care services for an additional 300,000 children in low-income families while their parents go to work. Today only one out of seven eligible children receives care.
Head Start: $2.1 billion to provide comprehensive development services to help 110,000 additional children succeed in school. Funds are distributed based on need. Only about half of all eligible preschoolers and less than 3 percent of eligible infants and toddlers participate in Head Start. Studies have shown that Head Start is one of the best ways to improve child well-being, increase the educational achievement and future productivity of children, and reduce crime. Studies also show that $1 invested in early education yields from $1.25 to $17 in returns.
IDEA Infants and Families: $600 million for formula grants to help states serve children with disabilities age 2 and younger.

g. Improving Teacher Quality:
$300 million, including $200 million for competitive grants to school districts and states to provide financial incentives for teachers and principals who raise student achievement and close the achievement gaps in high-need schools and $100 million for competitive grants to states to address teacher shortages and modernize the teaching workforce.

h. Helping States Prevent Teacher layoffs and Other Critical Public Sector Jobs
Budget deficits are already projected for 39 states for the upcoming FY 2010.  Initial estimates of these shortfalls total over $80 billion.  As the full extent of FY 2010 deficits become known, state shortfalls are likely to equal $145 billion; In recent months, 29 states have implemented cuts in education due to budget shortfalls – for example, Georgia has cut aid to school districts by $95 per pupil; the University of Florida has eliminated 430 faculty and staff positions; and the University of Kentucky is raising its tuition 9 percent; Unless the recovery package is enacted, school districts across the country will have to enact further cuts.  There are newspaper stories from across the country.  “As many as 2,300 teachers could face midyear layoffs because of the state budget crisis, Los Angeles Unified School District officials said.” (Los Angeles Times, 1/7/09)   “Local school officials are preparing for drastic budget cuts…Most Marion and Polk County school districts are considering shortening the school year, asking staff to take salary cuts, or eliminating programs.” (Statesman Journal – Oregon, 1/21/09); Slashing education services undermines future economic growth in a state.  This recovery package, by preventing these cutbacks, will enhance future economic growth. Therefore, the bill:

Creates a $79 billion state stabilization fund to help prevent education-related layoffs and restore harmful cuts to education funding, including $39 billion for local school districts and public colleges and universities.
Estimated Allocation of State Fiscal Stabilization Fund: Benefits for Pennsylvania
2009: 1,264,043,000
2010: 1,264,043,000
Total: 2,528,086,000

Includes $15 billion for bonus grants to states for making progress in key areas: placing excellent teachers in high-need schools, making common-sense improvements to assessments, and creating data systems that help schools track progress over time.
States must also meet a maintenance-of-effort requirement to show they’re doing their part to fund education.

i. Training Workers for 21st Century Jobs
Provides $4 billion to prepare adult and dislocated workers for green jobs, younger Americans and other emerging industries, including training for retrofitting buildings, green construction and production of renewable energy.
Includes $1.6 billion to create up to one million summer jobs for younger Americans

j. Creating service and volunteer opportunities to rebuild America
Creates work study opportunities for an additional 200,000 college students in a field related to either their major or community service.
Invest $200 million for 16,000 new slots in Americorps which will create more opportunities for more Americans of all generations to serve in their communities.

k. Investing in Excellent Teachers
Provides $200 million in funding for school districts that want to reward educators for outstanding performance or for taking on additional responsibilities and leadership roles.

l. Train and Recruiting Outstanding Teachers for Classrooms that Need them
Most

Invests $100 million to address teacher shortages and modernize the teaching workforce.
Provides training for new teachers to help them improves overall student achievement.
Enhances professional development activities for new teachers.
Strengthens teacher recruitment and training efforts for prospective teachers.
Improves the preparation of general education teacher candidates in order to more effectively teach students with disabilities.
VII. Transforming Our Economy with Science, Technology & Innovation

This economic recovery package invests in science and technology – both creating jobs in the short-term and building a foundation for strong economic growth in the long-term.  The recovery package includes a $10 billion investment in scientific research, including investments at the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  Regarding new technologies, the package also includes nearly $40 billion in investments in America’s IT network infrastructure (including broadband, health IT, and a smarter energy grid).  More than 100 high-tech CEOs and business leaders have endorsed these IT investments and stated that this $40 billion investment alone will create more than 949,000 U.S. jobs, more than half of which will be in small businesses.
a. Broadband to Give Every Community Access to the Global Economy
Wireless and Broadband Grants: $6 billion for broadband and wireless services in underserved areas to strengthen the economy and provide business and job opportunities in every section of America with benefits to e-commerce, education, and healthcare. For every dollar invested in broadband the economy sees a ten-fold return on that investment.
The stimulative impact of this investment would be:  1) jobs to procure, produce, deliver, install, and maintain new infrastructure; and 2) jobs in sectors of the economy that rely on e-commerce, including the retail, high-tech, education, health care, and real estate sectors.

b. Scientific Research

National Science Foundation:
Provides $3 billion overall for the National Science Foundation, putting the NSF budget on track to double over the next seven years, as called for under the America COMPETES Act (PL 110-69).
Includes $2.5 billion for NSF research and research-related activities.  Sustained, targeted investment by NSF in basic research in fundamental science and engineering advances discovery and spurs innovation.  Such transformational work holds promise for meeting the economic and environmental challenges facing the country, and competing in an increasingly intense global economy.
The $2.5 billion for research is estimated to support an additional 3,000 new NSF research awards and would immediately engage 12,750 senior personnel, post-docs, graduate students, and undergraduates.
Also includes $100 million for improving instruction in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
Also includes $400 million for the construction and development of major research facilities that perform cutting-edge research.
$300 million for major research equipment shared by institutions of higher education and other scientists
$200 million to repair and modernize science and engineering research facilities at the nation’s institutions of higher education and other science labs

National Institutes of Health Biomedical Research:
$2 billion, including $1.5 billion for expanding good jobs in biomedical research to study diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer, and heart disease – NIH is currently able to fund less than 20% of approved applications – and $500 million to implement the repair and improvement strategic plan developed by the NIH for its campuses.
University Research Facilities:
$1.5 billion for NIH to renovate university research facilities and help them compete for biomedical research grants. The National Science Foundation estimates a maintenance backlog of $3.9 billion in biological science research space. Funds are awarded competitively.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
$462 million to enable CDC to complete its Buildings and Facilities Master Plan, as well as renovations and construction needs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
Department of Energy:
$2 billion for basic research into the physical sciences including high-energy physics, nuclear physics, and fusion energy sciences and improvements to DOE laboratories and scientific facilities. $400 million is for the Advanced Research Project Agency – Energy to support high-risk, high-payoff research into energy sources and energy efficiency.
Provides $1.6 billion for DOE’s Office of Science, putting the office’s budget also on track to double over the next seven years, as called for under the America COMPETES Act (PL 110-69). The DOE Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, providing more than 40 percent of total funding for this vital area of national importance.  It oversees the nation’s research programs in climate science, advanced computing, biofuels, high-energy physics, nuclear physics, and fusion energy sciences – areas crucial to our energy future.
ARPA-E
Provides $400 million for the Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to support high-risk, high-payoff research into energy sources and energy efficiency in collaboration with private industry and universities.
NASA:
$600 million, including $400 million to put more scientists to work doing climate change research, including Earth science research recommended by the National Academies, satellite sensors that measure solar radiation critical to understanding climate change, and a thermal infrared sensor to the Landsat Continuing Mapper necessary for water management, particularly in the western states; $150 million for research, development, and demonstration to improve aviation safety and Next Generation air traffic control (NextGen); and $50 million to repair NASA centers damaged by hurricanes and floods last year.
Biomedical Advanced Research and Development, Pandemic Flu, and Cyber Security:
$900 million to prepare for a pandemic influenza, support advanced development of medical countermeasures for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats, and for cyber security protections at HHS.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Satellites and Sensors:
$600 million for satellite development and acquisitions, including climate sensors and climate modeling.
National Institute of Standards and Technology:
Provides $500 million overall for the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), putting its budget also on track to double over the next seven years, as called for under the America COMPETES Act (PL 110-69).
Includes $300 million for competitive construction grants for research science buildings at colleges, universities, and other research organizations.
Includes $100 million to coordinate research efforts at laboratories and national research facilities by setting standards for manufacturing.
Includes $70 million for the Technology Innovation Program (TIP), which is designed to speed the development of high-risk, transformative research targeted to address key societal challenges, and $30 million for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), which is targeted at improving the productivity and competitiveness of small manufacturers.
Agricultural Research Service:
$209 million for agricultural research facilities across the country. ARS has a list of deferred maintenance work at facilities of roughly $315 million.
U.S. Geological Survey
$200 million to repair and modernize U.S.G.S. science facilities and equipment, including improvements to laboratories, earthquake monitoring systems, and computing capacity.

Health Information Technology
Provides $20 billion to accelerate adoption of Health Information Technology (HIT) systems by doctors and hospitals, in order to modernize the health care system, save billions of dollars, reduce medical errors, and improve quality.  Also provides significant financial incentives through the Medicare and Medicaid programs to encourage doctors and hospitals to adopt and use HIT.
Promoting the adoption of Health Information Technology systems will create hundreds of thousands of jobs – many of them high-tech jobs.
The nonpartisan CBO estimates that, as a result of this legislation, approximately 90 percent of doctors and 70 percent of hospitals will be using electronic medical records within the next 10 years.

VIII. Create Jobs with Clean, Efficient, American Energy

To put people back to work today and reduce our dependence on foreign oil tomorrow, we are seeking to double our renewable energy production and renovate public buildings to make them more energy efficient. The energy package will create more than 500,000 jobs, and accelerate deployment of smart grid technology, provide energy efficiency funds for the nation’s schools, offer support for the nation’s governors and mayors to tackle their energy challenges, and establish a new loan guarantee program to keep our transition to renewable energy on track during the economic crisis.

Details:

Reliable, Efficient Electricity Grid: $11 billion for research and development, pilot projects, and federal matching funds for the Smart Grid Investment Program to modernize the electricity grid making it more efficient, secure, and reliable and build new power lines to transmit clean, renewable energy from sources throughout the nation.
Renewable Energy Loan Guarantees: $8 billion for loans for renewable energy power generation and transmission projects.
GSA Federal Buildings: $6.7 billion for renovations and repairs to federal buildings including at least $6 billion focused on increasing energy efficiency and conservation. Projects are selected based on GSA’s ready-to-go priority list.
Local Government Energy Efficiency Block Grants: $6.9 billion to help state and local governments make investments that make them more energy efficient and reduce carbon emissions.
Energy Efficiency Housing Retrofits: $2.5 billion for a new program to upgrade HUD sponsored low-income housing to increase energy efficiency, including new insulation, windows, and furnaces. Funds will be competitively awarded.
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Research: $2 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities to foster energy independence, reduce carbon emissions, and cut utility bills. Funds are awarded on a competitive basis to universities, companies, and national laboratories.
Advanced Battery Loans and Grants: $2 billion for the Advanced Battery Loan Guarantee and Grants Program, to support U.S. manufacturers of advanced vehicle batteries and battery systems. America should lead the world in transforming the way automobiles are powered.
Department of Defense Efficiency: $1.8 billion for efforts to make our military bases more energy efficient, beyond benefits that will come from replacing and repairing facilities.
Energy Efficiency Grants and Loans for Institutions: $1.5 billion for energy sustainability and efficiency grants and loans to help school districts, institutes of higher education, local governments, and municipal utilities implement projects that will make them more energy efficient.
Home Weatherization: $6.2 billion to help low-income families reduce their energy costs by weatherizing their homes and make our country more energy efficient.
Smart Appliances: $300 million to provide consumers with rebates for buying energy efficient Energy Star products to replace old appliances, which will lower energy bills.
GSA Federal Fleet: $600 million to replace older vehicles owned by the federal government with alternative fuel automobiles that will save on fuel costs and reduce carbon emissions.
Electric Transportation: $200 million for a new grant program to encourage electric vehicle technologies.
Cleaning Fossil Energy: $2.4 billion for carbon capture and sequestration technology demonstration projects. This funding will provide valuable information necessary to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere from industrial facilities and fossil fuel power plants.
Department of Defense Research: $350 million for research into using renewable energy to power weapons systems and military bases.
Alternative Buses and Trucks: $400 million to help state and local governments purchase efficient alternative fuel vehicles to reduce fuel costs and carbon emissions.
Industrial Energy Efficiency: $500 million for energy efficient manufacturing demonstration projects.
Diesel Emissions Reduction: $300 million for grants and loans to state and local governments for projects that reduce diesel emissions, benefiting public health and reducing global warming. This includes technologies to retrofit emission exhaust systems on school buses, replace engines and vehicles, and establish anti-idling programs. 70% of the funds go to competitive grants and 30% funds grants to states with approved programs. Last year EPA was able to fund only 27% of the applications received.

s. Tax Incentives to Spur Energy Savings and Green Jobs ($20 billion over 10
years)
Three-year extension of the production tax credit (PTC) for electricity derived from wind (through 2012) and for electricity derived from biomass, geothermal, hydropower, landfill gas, waste-to-energy and marine facilities (through 2013).  Also permits businesses that place new renewable energy facilities in service during 2009 and 2010 to claim either a 30 percent investment tax credit (ITC) instead of the production tax credit, or apply for a grant of up to 30 percent of the cost of building a new renewable energy facility from the Energy Department.  These provisions will help speed up investment in new facilities and will address current renewable energy credit market concerns.
Promotes energy-efficient investments in homes by extending and expanding tax credits through 2010 for purchases such as new furnaces, energy-efficient windows and doors, or insulation.  Increases the credit from 10 percent to 30 percent of the cost of the investment and raises the credit cap from $500 to $1,500, helping American families save money on their energy bills.
Includes clean renewable energy bonds for State and local governments, electric cooperatives and public power to finance facilities that generate electricity from renewable resources and qualified energy conservation bonds for State and local governments to make a variety of energy conservation investments.
Establishes an enhanced R&D tax credit for research expenditures in the fields of fuel cells, battery technology, renewable energy, energy conservation technology, efficient transmission and distribution of electricity, and carbon capture and sequestration, in 2009 and 2010.
Increases incentives to install pumps that dispense alternative fuels including E85, biodiesel, hydrogen, and natural gas.

t. Landmark Energy Savings at Home ($6.2 billion)
Landmark provisions to improve the energy efficiency for more than 1 million modest-income homes through weatherization, expanding the number of families (from 150% to 200% of the federal poverty income levels) and the aid level (from $2,500 to $5,000 per household) to keep up with the rising prices of these upgrades;
This will save modest-income families on average $350 per year on their heating and air conditioning bills.
u. Green Job Training and Energy Efficient Schools
Provides $500 million to train workers for green-collar jobs.
Creates new modernization, renovation, and repair programs for schools and colleges, with a minimum of 25 percent of the funds focused on green building projects.
Energy sustainability and efficiency grants and loans to help school districts, colleges, local governments, and some hospitals become more energy efficient.
v. Modernizing Federal and Public Infrastructure to Lower Energy Costs
Makes an historic investment in upgrading federal buildings and making them energy efficient — as part of an effort to modernize more than 75% of federal building space and save taxpayers $2 billion per year in lower federal energy bills.

The federal government is the world’s largest consumer of energy.
This will help spur jobs in the green building industry as well as save taxpayer money.

IX.  Miscellaneous Additional Provisions

Medicare and Medicaid Regulations: The bill extends the moratorium on Medicaid and Medicare regulations
E-Verify: Extends the E-Verify authorization for 5 years as passed by the House in July 2008 (H.R. 6633) on a vote of 407-2.

Buy American: Mandates that iron and steel used in construction and repair projects funded under the bill be produced in the United States unless found to be prohibitively expensive.
Davis Bacon: Requires that federal contractors and subcontractors pay workers no less than the local prevailing wage.

Illinois: Prevents Governor Blagojevich from directing the use of funds provided in the package.
X.  American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Benefits for Pennsylvania

Unemployment Reductions in Pennsylvania
Jobs Saved or Created by End of 2010, with plan:    188,740
Impact on Unemployment Rate, with plan: -1.8%

Making Work Pay Credit: Benefits for Pennsylvania
Estimated number of Taxpayers Benefiting: 4,420,000

Child Tax Credit: Benefits for Pennsylvania
Number of Children Benefiting: 567,000

State Medicaid Costs Funded: Benefits for Pennsylvania
$3,974,892

Food Stamps: Benefits for Pennsylvania
Increase in Food Stamp Benefits: $779 million
Participants Receiving Stimulus: 1,235,000
Food Stamp Administration Funding: $12.6 million

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) : Benefits for Pennsylvania
Additional Funding: $190.5 million
Number of People that Will Benefit from Additional Funding: 333,800 million

Emergency Shelter Grant Program: Benefits for Pennsylvania
Additional Program Funding: $90.6 million
Estimated number of households assisted by new funds: 19,800

Estimates of Jobless Workers Benefiting from Selected
Unemployment Insurance Provisions: Benefits for Pennsylvania
Total Recipients of State and
Federal Benefits (January-December 2009): 1,056,058
New EUC Beneficiaries (April – December 2009): 155,691

Estimated Allocation of State Fiscal Stabilization Fund: Benefits for Pennsylvania
2009: 1,264,043,000
2010: 1,264,043,000
Total: 2,528,086,000

Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Funding: Benefits for Pennsylvania
Distributed to Localities: $43,946,361
Distributed Through State: $68,456,337
Total: $112,402,698

Additional Infrastructure Investment Formula Funding: Benefits for Pennsylvania
Highways and Bridges: $1,254,266,677
Transit Capital:
Urban: $222,749,874
Rural: $22,692,988
Total: $245,442,862

Fixed Guideway Modernization: $134,193,083
Clean Water SRF: $229,937,103
Total: $1,863,839,725

AASHTO Survey of Ready-to-Go Highway & Bridge Projects
Number of Projects: 319
Dollar Value: $1,030 million

Benefits for 7th District School Districts
$74,197,800 for area school districts, including $23,716,500 for construction funding, $13,961,200 for the execution of Title 1-A, and a $36,520,100 investment in IDEA special education programs.

Born and raised in Delaware County, former 3-star Admiral Joe Sestak served in the Navy for 31 years and now serves as the Representative from the 7th District of Pennsylvania. He led a series of operational commands at sea, including Commander of an aircraft carrier battle group of 30 U.S. and allied ships with over 15,000 sailors and 100 aircraft that conducted operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. After 9/11, Joe was the first Director of “Deep Blue,” the Navy’s anti-terrorism unit that established strategic and operations policies for the “Global War on Terrorism.” He served as President Clinton’s Director for Defense Policy at the National Security Council in the White House, and holds a Ph.D. in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University.  According to the office of the House Historian, Joe is the highest-ranking former military officer ever elected to the Congress.

Media Contact:
Jonathon Dworkin
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610-892-8623

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Joe Sestak is serving his second term as the Representative from Pennsylvania's 7th Congressional District, which includes most of Delaware County and parts of Chester and Montgomery Counties

Joe Sestak brings to Congress the same dedication and commitment with which he served this country in the Navy. As a member of Congress, Joe is working to strengthen our country's national security - national security that begins at home in the health, education, and economic promise of our people, as well as our defense security. Joe's primary focus is on fixing problems and moving our country forward - not on governing from the left or on the right.

Contact:

Joe Langdon
Phone:610-892-8623

Washington D.C. Office
1022 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2011
Fax: (202) 226-0280

District Office
600 N. Jackson Street
Suite 203
Media, PA 19063
Phone: (610) 892-8623
Fax: (610) 892-8628

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