Jobs For Main Street Act Of 2010
Obey Statement on the Jobs for Main Street Package
WASHINGTON – Tonight the House of Representatives passed the Jobs for Main Street Act of 2010 to redirect $75 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) savings from Wall Street to Main Street to fund infrastructure and job investments; and provide additional emergency funding to help families who are suffering. The bill passed the House by a vote of 217 to 212.
Congressman Dave Obey (D-WI), Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, made the following statement on the House Floor during debate this evening:
"We have before us a bill that determines to redirect $75 billion, which had initially been directed to help Wall Street and we want to instead redirect that money to help Main Street. So we provide $27 billion, for instance, for highway infrastructure projects to put people back in construction. You are either for it or you're against it.
"We provided enough funding in this legislation to assist more than 670 communities address their growing backlog of water and sewer repairs and put people to work in the process. You are either for it or against it.
"We provided $27 billion from Wall Street to Main Street to try to stabilize public service jobs. We are trying to preserve $250,000 teaching jobs over the next two years, for instance. You are either for doing that or you are against it.
"We are trying to use $500 million to preserve thousands of firefighter jobs all across the country. You are either going to help or you're not.
"Well, we are trying to provide $250,000 to disadvantaged youth with summer employment opportunities. You are either going to help them or you're not.
"We are trying to provide 250,000 students with additional college work study funds so they can stay in school. You are either going to help those students or you're not.
"We are trying to provide funding for approximately 150,000 individuals in high growth and emerging industry sectors where we know there are job growth possibilities. You are either going to help support that or not.
"We are trying to provide unemployment insurance for six months rather than two months, extension that was in the previous bill today. You are either going to help those people or not.
"We are trying to provide $23 billion to extend the higher federal match for payments to doctors, or we are not.
"So basically it's about time to decide where you're coming from.
"An article in The New York Times today described what happens when you lose your job. It pointed out that more than half of the nation's unemployed workers have had to borrow money from friends or relatives since losing their jobs. They have had to cut back on doctor visits.
"That same article indicates a quarter of those polled have said they lost their home or threatened with foreclosure. They also noted that half of the adults surveyed admitted to feeling embarrassed or ashamed as a result of being out of work and nearly have of the respondents said they no longer had health insurance.
"The question is, are you going to help those people or not? We can argue what our economic philosophy is until the cows come home as they say in my area, but it seems to me that the question simply is, we've got a problem - what are you going to do about it?
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