Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Congressman Higgins Begins Work on House Stimulus Bill

Jan 21, 2009
Press Release

 Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) announced release of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, comprehensive legislation drafted by the House of Representatives that takes a multifaceted approach to creating jobs and getting the American economy moving again.  The proposed bill includes $550 billion in targeted investments and $275 billion in tax cuts.  Congressman Higgins will be participating in discussions on the plan when the House Committee on Ways and Means meets to markup the bill tomorrow.

“This plan is an investment in the American people and our nation’s future,” said Congressman Higgins.  “It rebuilds our economy from the ground up with construction projects that put real people to work and tax cuts that helps middle class families trying to send their kids to school, buy a home or run a small business.  I look forward to continued discussion on this proposed bill and timely action in Congress so we can begin our work building a stronger economy.” 

Some of the highlights of the package include:

Investments in Our Infrastructure

  • $32 billion for transportation projects including $30 billion for highway construction
  • The Northeast Midwest Institute predicts $1.35 billion for road projects in NY
  • $19 billion for water infrastructure, including an estimated $748 million for projects in New York
  • $31 billion to modernize federal and other public infrastructure with investments that lead to long term energy cost savings

Job Creation and Tax Cuts

  • The “Make Work Pay” tax cut provides tax relief to 95 percent of American workers with at refundable tax credit of $500 per worker
  • Tax exempt and tax credit bonds for state and local governments based on the number of unemployed people in an area
  • An expansion of the number of families who can access the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit 

Competing as a World Leader in Science & Technology

  • $10 billion to focus American brainpower on solving the energy and climate challenges and finding cures and treatments for diseases
  • $6 billion to expand broadband Internet access so businesses in rural and other underserved areas can connect to the global economy

Transitioning to Clean, Efficient, American Energy

  • $20 billion in tax cuts for clean, renewable energy including a new enhanced tax credit for research and development focusing on smart energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy
  • A multi-year extension of the production tax credit for wind, hydro, geothermal and bioenergy 
  • $10 billion for transit and rail to reduce traffic congestion and gas consumption
  • $6 billion to weatherize modest-income homes
  • $1 billion in Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) funds including over $123 million slated for seniors and others on fixed incomes in New York State

Improving Access to Affordable Healthcare and Education

  • Tax credits for college tuition for up to $2,500 per year of school and increasing the PELL grant by $500
  • $20 billion for health information technology to provide better care and improve efficiencies
  • $87 billion for a temporary increase in the Medicaid matching rate during a time of state budget crisis
  • $21 billion for school modernization

Measures are in place to ensure accountability and transparency in this package including:  creation of a public website, monthly reporting, competitive contracts and whistleblower protections.  The legislation does not include earmarks or identify specific eligible projects; instead it identifies areas of eligibility.  The 258 page bill is subject to change.  After committee approval, the bill will go to the full House for a vote.  The Senate must also pass similar legislation before final authorization by President Obama.