Oberstar on Economic Recovery Bill

Thursday, January 29th, 2009 at 6:21 am

oberstarWashington DC – The U.S. House of Representatives approved an essential economic recovery bill that is expected to create or save over 91,000 jobs in Minnesota.. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (H.R. 1) is designed to invest in public infrastructure projects that will generate millions of jobs nationwide, and this legislation will also invest in numerous programs that will assist states, local governments and individuals who have been impacted by the recession.

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Congressman Jim Oberstar is one of the key authors of the economic recovery legislation. He says one of the key provision of the bill is his 90 day “use it or lose it” clause which requires states to begin investing money from the legislation on public infrastructure projects within three months of receiving the funds. If those dollars are not obligated to specific projects, they will be returned to the treasury and then distributed to other states that are ready to put those dollars to work.

Minnesota has 200 road and bridge projects that could qualify for the $477 million the state will receive from the economic recovery bill. “I am confident that if the president signs this bill before the middle of February we could have a million people at work on construction jobs by the first week of June,” Oberstar said.

This jobs and economic recovery plan contains targeted efforts in:Transforming Our Economy With Clean, Efficient, American Energy and Innovation and Technology that will create more than 1 million jobs;Lowering Health Care Costs by funding aggressive adoption of health information technology, which will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, and Broadening Coverage by helping those who cannot afford health care in these tough times.; Modernizing Roads, Bridges, Transit and Waterways to create 1.5 million American jobs;Education for the 21st Century, including an increased Pell Grant for 103,214 students here in Minnesota. Tax Cuts of up to $1,000 to Make Work Pay for 1.9 million Minnesota families and more than $20 billion for American businesses, large and small, to spur job creation.

The economic recovery plan has unprecedented accountability measures built in—providing strong oversight, an historic degree of public transparency, and no earmarks. Oberstar says he will use his position as chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to ensure that the recovery money is spent wisely. “Every 30 days, we’re going to hold a hearing to report on the jobs created, the contracts that are in place, the skills that are at work, the payroll by each of the contractors, and we will report to the nation on what is happening in the workplace,” said Oberstar.

Click Here to see how much local school districts will receive under the stimulus package.

(From Office of Jim Oberstar)

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