Congressman Albio Sires Newsletter

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DEAR <>,


It is a pleasure to update you on my work in Congress. As the new Congress began this January, the top priority was to finalize legislation to assist in the recovery of our economy. I am pleased that one of the first pieces of legislation presented to President Obama for his signature was the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which passed the House of Representatives on February 13, 2009 by a vote of 246-183 and signed into law on February 17, 2009.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will create or save 100,000 jobs in New Jersey, with 7,800 jobs in the 13th district alone. Additionally, it will make vital investments in infrastructure and transportation, education, health care, and it will help small businesses and families by lowering their tax burden. Furthermore, the bill provides unprecedented oversight, accountability, and transparency to ensure that taxpayer dollars are invested effectively, efficiently, and as quickly as possible. Please continue to read below for the specific investments included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Health

  • Invests $17 billion nationwide in health information technology, growing jobs in this critical sector. This investment will reduce health care costs and improve the health care for all Americans.
  • Helps families who lost their job and cannot afford their health insurance COBRA premiums by offering a subsidy on those premiums.

Education

  • Invests $39.5 billion to local school districts to prevent layoffs among school staff, for school modernization efforts, and other repairs to existing school building.
  • Improves school affordability by increasing Pell Grants by $500, improving work study and Perkins loan availability, and increasing our investment in job training programs for those seeking a new career.

Transportation and Infrastructure

  • Invests $27.5 billion in highways, $8.4 billion in public transportation, $1.3 billion for air transportation, and $9.3 billion for rail transportation.
  • $2.25 billion for housing development at the local level through the HOME program and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, creating more housing for families and more development for the local economy.

Tax Relief for the Middle Class and Small Business

  • Invests in working families by temporarily eliminating tax withholding in their paycheck for 95 percent of Americans.
  • Tax deductions for the purchase of a first home or new car, and a temporary fix to the Alternative Minimum Tax hitting more middle-class families every year.
  • Temporarily lowers small business estimated tax payments in 2009.

Clean, Efficient, American Energy

  • Provides more than $30 billion for energy initiatives such as a new, smart power grid, advanced battery technology, and energy efficiency measures, which will create hundreds of thousands of jobs.
  • Provides $20 billion in tax incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency over the next 10 years.
  • Provides $5 billion for landmark provisions to improve the energy efficiency of more than 2 million modest-income homes through weatherization.
  • Provides more than $4 billion for increasing energy efficiency in federally-supported housing programs.

In the upcoming weeks, please check out http://www.sires.house.gov/ for the most up to date information on COBRA, Pell Grants and tax withholdings. You may also be interested in tracking the spending from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act at www.recovery.gov.

Thank you for taking the time to read this enewsletter. I am happy to go back to my district and tell constituents that the government acted swiftly and decisively to help them make it through this economic crisis. I look forward to continuing to update you as Congress works on legislation to assist in the recovery of our economy.

Sincerely,

Albio Sires

Albio Sires