Monday, November 10, 2008

Lipinski urges passage of Economic Recovery Package

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jason Tai
November 10, 2008
Brian Oszakiewski


REP. Lipinski Calls on Congress and President Bush to pass Economic Recovery Package with infrastructure investments

[Washington, D.C.] Today Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03), a member of the powerful House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, released the following statement urging President Bush and Members of Congress to put aside partisan differences and swiftly pass an economic recovery package that creates new job opportunities through investment in critical infrastructure projects:

“America faces very difficult economic times; middle class families are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet with many suffering terrible hardships. More than 1.2 million jobs have been lost over the past year, including 240,000 last month. In Cook County, the unemployment rate has soared above the national average to 6.8 percent and the number of people looking for work in Illinois has approached 500,000.

“At the same time, it is estimated that the United States is in need of a $1.6 trillion investment in the next five years to replace or restore old infrastructure. From aging highways and bridges, to antiquated railroads and water infrastructure, to inadequate mass transit alternatives and airport capacity, the needs are many and the current amount of investment is seriously lacking.

“Investment in transportation and infrastructure boosts our future economic growth, ensures our competitiveness in the world, and improves the quality of life in our communities. It means jobs, time, and money, and it is directly linked to our future. In Illinois – America’s transportation hub – our nation’s infrastructure needs are especially great.

“That is why for the past year I have made the case that an economic recovery package should include investments in public infrastructure and mass transit. Investment in infrastructure is a win-win for all Americans—funding is spent on projects that are desperately needed and good-paying jobs are created that cannot be exported to places like China. In fact, every $1 billion invested in American infrastructure creates and supports 47,500 American jobs.

“In September my calls for an infrastructure spending bill were heeded by the House of Representatives with the passage of H.R. 7110, the Job Creation and Unemployment Relief Act of 2008. This legislation would provide $61 billion to help restore the economy, including $30 billion for investment in infrastructure and mass transit. I would have preferred a much larger infrastructure investment – especially in light of the willingness of Congress and the President to provide $700 billion for the financial industry bailout – but this was a good start. Especially important in this bill was the provision that a local match to federal dollars would not be needed, allowing projects to move forward immediately regardless of a state’s budgetary issues or the political climate. I fought hard for this provision because it is critical for the state of Illinois.

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“For Illinois, H.R. 7110 would invest an additional $436.8 million for highway infrastructure, $271.6 million to expand accessibility to mass transit, and $290.3 million for sewer and water treatment projects over the next year. Unfortunately, the White House threatened to veto H.R. 7110 and Senate Republicans blocked movement of the bill prior to the September congressional adjournment.

“Next week, Members of Congress will return to Washington to begin administrative and legislative planning for the 111th Congress beginning in January. The economic news has only gotten worse in the past two months since H.R. 7110 was passed by the House, increasing the need for an economic recovery bill. Now that the presidential election is over, we have the critical opportunity to put politics aside and thoughtfully work together to put people back to work and invest in our long-term economic future and well being.

“Congress must come back into legislative session and pass an economic recovery package that includes spending on infrastructure and transit. The infrastructure and transit investment must be at least the $30 billion provided in H.R. 7110, but it should be even more. Once Congress passes this legislation, President Bush must sign it into law.

“Since I was first elected to Congress I have made the needs of middle class Americans my top priority. There is much work that must be done and we have a great opportunity to do it in the next Congress. But we must start putting middle class Americans back to work immediately. We need to pass an infrastructure investment stimulus bill, and we need to do it now. I look forward to working with President Bush and my colleagues on a bipartisan basis to pass an infrastructure spending package this year. We can’t afford to wait.”

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Brian Freedman
Legislative Correspondent
Office of Congressman Dan Lipinski
1717 Longworth H.O.B
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-5701
Fax (202) 225-1012
Please sign up for E-News updates at www.lipinski.house.gov

1 comment:

James said...

I exhausted my 13 weeks of unemployment three weeks ago. I have been beating the Bush (no pun intended) for a job but there just seems to be more bad economic news with more layoffs and higher unemployment resulting. Employers aren't hiring and what jobs there are being advertised are very competitive to get. How do I and others put pressure on the Senate and our current President to pass this and see that it is a crisis that demands immediate attention?