Senate Democrats

Broad Support for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

As our economy slips further into recession and more workers lose their jobs, Americans are demanding action. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will create 4 million jobs by making critical investments in our future and providing tax relief for hard-hit middle-class families.

The bill has garnered support from across the ideological spectrum: Republican and Democratic Governors alike have expressed strong support for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act; contractors, labor groups, technology leaders and health care providers have praised the bill;  and environmental advocates and religious leaders have called for its passage. In this time of economic hardship, we need to act now to get our economy back on track.

BOTH REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC GOVERNORS FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY BELIEVE RECOVERY FUNDS WILL BE CRITICAL TO THEIR STATES

Bipartisan Group of 18 Governors Expressed Support for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and Urged Swift Action It. “We are writing to express our support for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which passed last week in the House and is under consideration currently in the Senate. As stewards of the economies of our respective states and regions, we urge the Congress to reach prompt resolution of all outstanding differences and you to sign the bill when it reaches your desk.” Signatories of the bill included Governors Schwarzenegger, Rell, Patrick, Crist, Ritter, Culver, Markell, Corzine, Quinn, Strickland, Granholm, Kulongoski, Paterson, Douglas, Henry, Rendell, Kaine, Doyle and deJongh. [Letter to the President, Sacramento Bee, 2/3/09]

Governor Jim Douglas supported the Economic Recover Plan. Following a meeting with President Obama, Governor Douglas said that he told the President that “it is important for our states’ economies and our states’ fiscal health that we get a recovery package as quickly as possible.” Douglas asserted that it is important to find “common ground” and get the legislation to President Obama’s desk. [Politico, 2/3/09]

Governor Jim Gibbons Said Funding from Economic Recovery Plan Could Partially or Fully Reverse the State’s Expected Budget Cuts. “In a letter released late Thursday, Gibbons told legislators that Nevada could see up to $1.3 billion in federal funds for education and infrastructure, if the bill introduced in the House becomes law. The Republican governor says that money could result in a "partial or full reversal" of the dramatic budget cuts he has proposed.”  [AP, 1/23/09]

Governor Dave Freudenthal Called it “Useful, If Not Imperative, for Wyoming to Participate in the National Stimulus Package.” “Wyoming is one of those states for whom the recession is arriving late.  In general we tend to be slower entering recession and slower recovering from recession.  In some cases we simply do not participate in national economic prosperity as was the case during the dot-com period.  As events are unfolding, it clearly would be useful, if not imperative, for Wyoming to participate in the national stimulus package.” [Letter to the President, 1/5/09]

Governor Tim Pawlenty Was Counting on Funding from the Economic Recovery Plan to Help Close Minnesota’s Budget Shortfall. “Pawlenty is also counting on at least $920 million in federal stimulus funds to help the state out of its deficit hole.” [Star Tribune, 1/27/09]

Governor Charlie Crist Said the Economic Recovery Package Could Have a Tremendous Impact on Economic Development and Job Growth.The stimulus package ‘could have a tremendous impact on economic development, job growth and a better economy sooner,’ Crist, a Republican, said Monday night to about 250 residents at a town hall meeting in Kissimmee. ‘It's something that is a bridge toward the economy actually turning up.’” [AP, 1/27/09]

CONSTRUCTION AND HOUSING INDUSTRY ADVOCATES SUPPORT THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY PLAN

Associated General Contractors of America Said Decline in Business Activity Signals the Need for Immediate and Significant Federal Investments. “Today’s construction figures underscore the dramatic decline in business activity that is putting hundreds of thousands out of work, endangering the viability of tens of thousands of businesses and dragging on the broader economy. This is a stark reminder of the need for immediate and significant federal investments in vital construction and infrastructure projects. Without those investments, we estimate over a million construction workers will lose their jobs while many of the small businesses that dominate the construction industry will close their doors. With these investments, however, construction companies will be able to save those jobs, expand payrolls and invest in equipment and supplies, while building the foundation for a stronger economy,” said Stephen Sandherr, chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America. [Associated General Contractors Press Release, 1/23/09]

The Chairman of the National Association of Home Builders Called for Significant Stimulus for the Housing Market. “We need a significant stimulus on the demand side, because otherwise, home sales will only continue downward, dragging down home values, consumer confidence and consumer spending, which in turn creates further downward pressure on sales,” said National Association of Home Builders Chairman Joe Robson. “Because this vicious, self-perpetuating cycle can only be curtailed by offering a real incentive to those on the sidelines, NAHB is urging Congress to substantially enhance and extend the $7,500 first-time home buyer tax credit as part of the economic stimulus package that it plans to send to the President’s desk within the next two weeks. Doing so would go a long way toward putting a floor under declining home values that are at the core of the current economic crisis.” [Press Release, 1/29/09]

 The Associated Builders and Contractors Said American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Would Provide Vital Funding for Construction Projects and Create Jobs. In a letter to the House of Representatives, Vice President of Government Affairs Geoffrey Burr wrote,“On behalf of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and its 25,000 contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers and construction related firms across the nation, I am writing to express our support for The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (H.R. 1), which would provide vital funding for construction and infrastructure projects that will invigorate our industry and provide hundreds of thousands of much needed jobs. [Letter to House of Representatives, 1/28/09] 

The National Association of Realtors Called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act a Great First Step Toward Economic Recovery. “‘We think this bill is a great first step in helping our economy on the road to recovery… Real estate has always led this nation out of economic downturns,’ [NAR President Charles] McMillan said. ‘A renewed, revitalized and robust housing market is essential to generating commerce and helping families build wealth and stability. We are eager to see this happen and look forward to working with the Obama administration and Congress to quickly implement H.R. 1 and enact other stimulus efforts for residential and commercial markets.’” [NAR Press Release, 1/29/09]

LABOR GROUPS SUPPORT THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY PLAN

AFSCME Urged Passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In a statement, AFSCME President Gerald W. McEntee said,“As we face the greatest fiscal crisis since the Great Depression, the House has acted boldly to protect jobs and create opportunity. With 11 million workers unemployed, with home values declining at an alarming rate and the need for vital public services growing rapidly, it is shocking that no Republicans were willing to put partisanship behind them and stand with President Obama.” [AFSCME Press Release, 1/28/09]

SEIU Supported a Balanced Proposal of Tax Relief and Investments to Create Jobs to Rebuild Our Economy. In a statement, SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger said,“People who have lost their jobs and watched their futures go up in smoke don’t want more hot air … As this legislation now moves to the Senate, we support a balanced proposal that includes tax relief for working people and investments in jobs, education, healthcare, roads and bridges.” [SEIU Press Release, 1/29/09]

The American Federation of Teachers Urged Quick Passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. “We urge the Senate to quickly complete its work so that a final bill can be sent to President Obama for his signature. This package will give states the lifeline they need to avoid draconian cuts to education and other essential services, to prevent further job losses, increased class sizes and limited access to proven and promising programs aimed at low-achieving students. It will also provide greater student access to a higher education and improve our public infrastructures.” [AFT Press Release, 1/28/09]

TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY LEADERS SUPPORT THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY PLAN

IBM CEO Said There Was a “Unanimous Commitment” Among Corporate CEOs to Support the President’s Economic Recovery Plan. “I think we’ll agree that across America… and around the world – from board rooms, to cabinet rooms, to kitchen tables – people are fixated on what’s necessary to address the present economic emergency. There’s a gathering global consensus that bold and aggressive steps are needed, on both business and government working together to address what’s required to help the worldwide economies. In the past several days, I have been in contact with many leaders in the corporate world.  But I think there is a unanimous commitment to support the President.” [Samuel J. Palmisano, IBM CEO Statement, 1/28/09]

Technology CEO Council Urged Support for Investments in Digital Infrastructure. “As you consider President Obama’s economic recovery proposal and develop your own views, we strongly encourage you to support investments in our digital infrastructure… we know these investments will provide our nation with a near-term stimulus and long-term comparative advantage. Investments in America’s digital infrastructure will spur significant job creation in the immediate term. An investment of $40 billion in America’s IT network infrastructure in 2009 will create more than 949,000 U.S.jobs, more than half of which will be in small businesses, according to the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF).” Technology CEO Council companies generate over $350 billion in annual revenues and employ over 850,000 workers. [Letter to Congressional Leadership, 1/21/09]

HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS AND ADVOCATES SUPPORT THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY PLAN

The American Medical Association Supported the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s Investments in Medicaid. “The AMA applauds the U.S. House for making an investment in health information technology and addressing the health care needs of the poor and the recently unemployed through the economic stimulus package. The investment in the safety net through more support for Medicaid will maintain the program that cares for some of our most vulnerable populations, and we look forward to the day that everyone has access to affordable health insurance.” [AMA Press Release, 1/28/09]

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living Strongly Endorsed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. “AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Bruce Yarwood said the efforts in the legislation ‘are greatly appreciated by the long term care profession, which through our nation’s nearly 16,000 skilled nursing facilities, approximately 39,000 assisted living residences, and other residential care facilities, has a direct economic impact of $153.8 billion annually on the U.S. economy, representing 1.1 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).’ ‘We can positively contribute to getting unemployed Americans back on the payroll,’ the AHCA/NCAL leader continued. ‘We have over 100,000 vacant jobs waiting to be filled. But we also need the Congress to provide the necessary funds for the training of nurses and other front line providers.’” [AHCA Press Release, 2/3/09]

Families USA Endorsed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. “The financial assistance that is proposed in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of

2009 will help states afford the new costs associated with this increased demand for Medicaid. This will help them avoid making significant Medicaid cuts that would reduce access to health care for families who are struggling to make ends meet. Avoiding these cuts will also help state economies, because the additional federal Medicaid funds will flow through state economies, creating business activity that will prevent the loss of jobs and wages.” [“Critical Care: The Economic Recovery Package and Medicaid, Jan. 2009]

ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCATES SUPPORT THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY PLAN

The League of Conservation Voters urged support for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to bring about a “new energy economy.” “LCV strongly supports clean renewable energy, energy efficiency, mass transit, and other energy solutions that will address our economic woes in both the short and long term while ensuring a healthier planet for future generations. Toward that end, we urge you to strengthen and vote YES on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and to oppose any efforts to weaken this bill.” [Letter to Senate, 2/4/09]

The National Association of Clean Air Agencies applauded the economic recovery efforts on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. “We commend you and your colleagues for seeking to address the economic crisis facing our nation, and support your desire to save and create jobs, jumpstart the economy and lay the foundation for recovery.” [Letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, 2/2/09]

RELIGIOUS GROUPS SUPPORT THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY PLAN

The African American Ministers In Action offered their fullest measure of support for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. “Our support (where our prayer meets action) of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is under girded by the belief that with this Act we will end this crisis and strengthen our economy to ensure a better future for not only African American communities, but all of America.” [Letter to Speaker Pelosi, 1/26/09]

The United Jewish Communities and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs praised the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. “‘One area that is critically important in this time of great hardship for so many families are the number of services we provide to help individuals and families make ends meet. However, as more individuals lose their jobs or see their salaries and benefits cut, food banks, soup kitchens, mental health counselors and vocational trainers struggle to meet the additional number of individuals seeking their support. This bill begins to address these issues and many more that will help provide the resources we need to continue providing these critical services,’ said William Daroff, vice president for public policy of The United Jewish Communities.” [Global News Service of the Jewish People, 1/29/09]

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