The package contains targeted efforts in:
• Clean, Efficient, American Energy
• Transforming our Economy with Science and Technology
• Modernizing Roads, Bridges, Transit and Waterways
• Education for the 21st Century
• Tax Cuts to Make Work Pay and Create Jobs
• Lowering Healthcare Costs
• Helping Workers Hurt by the Economy
• Saving Public Sector Jobs and Protecting Vital Services
The economy is in such trouble that, even with passage of this package, unemployment rates are expected to rise to between eight and nine percent this year. Without this package, we are warned that unemployment could explode to near eleven percent. With passage of this package, we will face a large deficit for years to come. Without it, those deficits will be devastating and we face the risk of economic chaos. Tough choices have been made in this legislation and fiscal discipline will demand more tough choices in years to come.
Since 2001, as worker productivity went up, nearly all of the income growth in this country went to the wealthiest 10% of society. While they were benefitting from record high worker productivity, the remaining 90% of Americans were struggling to sustain their standard of living. They sustained it by borrowing… and borrowing… and borrowing, and when they couldn’t borrow anymore, the bottom fell out. This plan will strengthen the middle class, not just Wall Street CEOs and special interests in Washington.
Our short term task is to try to prevent the loss of millions of jobs and get our economy moving. The long term task is to make the needed investments that restore the ability of average middle income families to increase their income and build a decent future for their children.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan provides unprecedented oversight, accountability, and transparency to ensure that taxpayer dollars are invested effectively, efficiently, and as quickly as possible.
• Funds are distributed whenever possible through existing formulas and programs that have proven track records and accountability measures already in place.
• Numerous provisions in the bill provide for expedited but effective obligation of funds so that dollars are invested in the economy as quickly as possible.
• The Government Accountability Office and the Inspectors General are provided additional funding for auditing and investigating recovery spending.
• A new Recovery Act Accountability and Transparency Board will coordinate and conduct oversight of recovery spending and provide early warning of problems.
• A special website will provide transparency by posting information about recovery spending, including grants, contracts, and all oversight activities.
• State and local whistleblowers who report fraud and abuse are protected.
• There are no earmarks in this bill.
This plan targets investments to key areas that will create and preserve good jobs at the same time as it is strengthening the ability of this economy to become more efficient and produce more opportunities for employment.
Clean, Efficient, American Energy: To put people back to work today and reduce our dependence on foreign oil tomorrow, we will strengthen efforts directed at doubling renewable energy production and renovate public buildings to make them more energy efficient.
• Over $30 billion to transform the nation’s energy transmission, distribution, and production systems by allowing for a smarter and better grid and focusing investment in renewable technology.
• $5 billion to weatherize modest-income homes.
Transform our Economy with Science and Technology: We need to put scientists to work looking for the next great discovery, creating jobs in cutting-edge-technologies, and making smart investments that will help businesses in every community succeed in a global economy. For every dollar invested in broadband the economy sees a ten-fold return on that investment.
• $15 billion for science facilities, research, and instrumentation.
• $7.2 billion to expand broadband internet access so businesses in rural and other underserved areas can link up to the global economy.
Modernize Roads, Bridges, Transit and Waterways: To build a 21st century economy, we must engage contractors across the nation to create jobs rebuilding our crumbling roads, and bridges, modernize public buildings, and put people to work cleaning our air, water and land.
• $27.5 billion for highway construction;
• $16.5 billion to modernize federal and other public infrastructure with investments that lead to long term energy cost savings;
• $18.8 billion for clean water, flood control, and environmental restoration investments;
• $17.7 billion for transit and rail to reduce traffic congestion and gas consumption.
Education for the 21st Century: To enable more children to learn in 21st century classrooms, labs, and libraries to help our kids compete with any worker in the world, this package provides:
• $26 billion to local school districts through Title I ($13 billion), IDEA ($12.2 billion), and the Education Technology program ($650 million).
• $53.6 billion in state fiscal relief to prevent cutbacks to key services, including $39.5 billion to local school districts and public colleges and universities distributed through existing state and federal formulas, $5 billion to states as bonus grants as a reward for meeting key performance measures, and $8.8 billion to states for other high priority needs such as public safety and other critical services, which may include K-12 and higher education modernization.
• $15.6 billion to increase the Pell grant by $500.
Lower Healthcare Costs: To save not only jobs, but money and lives, we will update and computerize our healthcare system to cut red tape, prevent medical mistakes, and help reduce healthcare costs by billions of dollars each year.
• $19 billion for health information technology to prevent medical mistakes, provide better care to patients and introduce cost-saving efficiencies.
• $2 billion to provide for preventative care and to evaluate the most effective healthcare treatments.
Help Workers Hurt by the Economy: High unemployment and rising costs have outpaced Americans’ paychecks. We will help workers train and find jobs, and help struggling families make ends meet.
• $20 billion to increase the food stamp benefit by over 13% in order to help defray rising food costs.
• $13.6 billion for programs to help families during the housing crisis.
• $ 4.8 billion to train workers in high growth areas and help the unemployed find jobs.
Save Public Sector Jobs and Protect Vital Services: We will provide relief to states, so they can continue to employ teachers, firefighters and police officers and provide vital services without having to unnecessarily raise middle class taxes.
• $4 billion for state and local law enforcement funding.
CREATE JOBS WITH CLEAN, EFFICIENT, AMERICAN ENERGY
To put people back to work today and reduce our dependence on foreign oil tomorrow, we will make investments aimed at doubling renewable energy production and renovate public buildings to make them more energy efficient.
• Reliable, Efficient Electricity Grid: $11 billion for research and development, pilot projects, and federal matching funds for the Smart Grid Investment Program to modernize the electricity grid making it more efficient, secure, and reliable and build new power lines to transmit clean, renewable energy from sources throughout the nation.
• Renewable Energy Loan Guarantees: $6 billion for loans for renewable energy power generation and transmission projects.
• GSA Federal Buildings: $4.5 billion for renovations and repairs to federal buildings, focused on increasing energy efficiency and conservation.
• Local Government Energy Efficiency Grants: $6.3 billion to help state and local governments make investments that make them more energy efficient and reduce carbon emissions.
• Energy Efficiency Housing Retrofits: $250 million for a new program to upgrade HUD sponsored low-income housing to increase energy efficiency, including new insulation, windows, and furnaces. Funds will be competitively awarded.
• Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Research: $2.5 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities to foster energy independence, reduce carbon emissions, and cut utility bills. Funds are awarded on a competitive basis to universities, companies, and national laboratories.
• Advanced Battery Grants: $2 billion for the Advanced Battery Grants Program, to support U.S. manufacturers of advanced vehicle batteries and battery systems. America should lead the world in transforming the way automobiles are powered.
• Home Weatherization: $5 billion to help low-income families reduce their energy costs by weatherizing their homes and make our country more energy efficient.
• Smart Appliances: $300 million to provide consumers with rebates for buying energy efficient Energy Star products to replace old appliances, which will lower energy bills.
• GSA Federal Fleet: $300 million to replace older vehicles owned by the federal government with alternative fuel and plug-in automobiles that will save on fuel costs and reduce carbon emissions.
• Electric Transportation: $400 million for a new grant program to encourage electric vehicle technologies.
• Cleaning Fossil Energy: $3.4 billion for carbon capture and sequestration technology demonstration projects. This funding will provide valuable information necessary to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere from industrial facilities and fossil fuel power plants.
• Department of Defense Research: $300 million for research into using renewable energy to power weapons systems and military bases.
• Alternative Buses and Trucks: $300 million to help state and local governments purchase efficient alternative fuel vehicles to reduce fuel costs and carbon emissions.
• Diesel Emissions Reduction: $300 million for grants and loans to state and local governments for projects that reduce diesel emissions, benefiting public health and reducing global warming. This includes technologies to retrofit emission exhaust systems on school buses, replace engines and vehicles, and establish anti-idling programs. Last year EPA was able to fund only 27% of the applications received.
• Training for Green Jobs: $500 million to prepare workers for careers in energy efficiency and renewable energy fields.
TRANSFORMING OUR ECONOMY WITH SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
We need to put scientists to work looking for the next great discovery, create jobs in cutting-edge technologies and making smart investments that will help businesses in every community succeed in a global economy.
Broadband to Give Every Community Access to the Global Economy
• Wireless and Broadband Grants: $7.2 billion for broadband and wireless services in underserved areas to strengthen the economy and provide business and job opportunities in every section of America with benefits to e-commerce, education, and healthcare. For every dollar invested in broadband the economy sees a ten-fold return on that investment.
• National Science Foundation: $3 billion, including $2 billion for expanding employment opportunities in fundamental science and engineering to meet environmental challenges and to improve global economic competitiveness, $400 million to build major research facilities that perform cutting edge science, $300 million for major research equipment shared by institutions of higher education and other scientists, $200 million to repair and modernize science and engineering research facilities at the nation’s institutions of higher education and other science labs, and $100 million to improve instruction in science, math and engineering.
• National Institutes of Health Biomedical Research: $8.7 billion for expanding good jobs in biomedical research to study diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer, and heart disease – NIH is currently able to fund less than 20% of approved applications.
• University Research Facilities: $1.3 billion for NIH to renovate and equip university research facilities and help them compete for biomedical research grants. The National Science Foundation estimates a maintenance backlog of $3.9 billion in biological science research space. Funds are awarded competitively.
• Department of Energy: $2 billion for basic research into the physical sciences including high-energy physics, nuclear physics, and fusion energy sciences and improvements to DOE laboratories and scientific facilities. $400 million is for the Advanced Research Project Agency – Energy to support high-risk, high-payoff research into energy sources and energy efficiency.
• NASA: $1 billion, including $400 million to put more scientists to work doing climate change research, including Earth science research recommended by the National Academies; $400 million to further exploration activities; $150 million for research, development, and demonstration to improve aviation safety and Next Generation air traffic control (NextGen); and $50 million to repair NASA centers damaged by hurricanes and floods last year.
• National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: $600 million for construction and repair of facilities, ships and equipment, to improve weather forecasting, support satellite development and address critical gaps in climate modeling.
• National Institute of Standards and Technology: $360 million for renovation and construction of new facilities and laboratories, including $180 million for competitive construction grants for research science buildings at colleges, universities, and other research organizations; and $220 million for additional research fellowships, equipment, and competitive grants.
• NOAA Operations, Research and Facilities: $230 million to address a backlog of ready-to-go research, restoration, navigation, and conservation activities.
• U.S. Geological Survey: $140 million to repair and modernize USGS science facilities and equipment, including improvements to laboratories, earthquake monitoring systems, and computing capacity.
Creating Small Business Opportunity
• Small Business Administration: $720 million for SBA programs to support small businesses, including new loan guarantee authorities to make loans more attractive to borrowers and lenders and to free up capital. The number of loans guaranteed under the SBA’s 7(a) business loan program was down 57% in the first quarter of this year compared to last.
• Rural Business-Cooperative Service: $150 million for rural business grants and loans to guarantee $2.99 billion in loans for rural businesses at a time of unprecedented demand due to the credit crunch. Private sector lenders are increasingly turning to this program to help businesses get access to capital.
• Economic Development Assistance: $150 million to address long-term economic distress in urban industrial cores and rural areas distributed based on need and ability to create jobs and attract private investment. EDA leverages $10 in private investments for $1 in federal funds.
• Community Development Financial Institutions: $100 million to help spur economic development and low-cost financial services in underserved communities.
DTV Conversion Coupons: $650 million to continue the coupon program to enable American households to convert from analog television transmission to digital transmission.
MODERNIZE ROADS, BRIDGES, TRANSIT AND WATERWAYS
To build a 21st century economy, we must engage contractors across the nation to create jobs – rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, modernizing public buildings, and putting people to work cleaning our air, water, and land.
Highway Infrastructure: $27.5 billion for highway and bridge construction projects and $1.5 billion for competitive grants to state and local governments for transportation investment. It is estimated that states have over 5,100 projects totaling over $64 billion that could be awarded within 180 days. These projects create jobs in the short term while saving commuters time and money in the long term. In 2006, the Department of Transportation estimated $8.5 billion was needed to maintain current systems and $61.4 billion was needed to improve highways and bridges.
Transit: Public transportation saves Americans time and money, saving as much as 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline and reducing carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons each year.
• New Construction: $750 million for Capital Investment Grants for new commuter rail or other light rail systems to increase public use of mass transit and to speed projects already in construction. The Federal Transit Administration has $2.4 billion in pre-approved projects.
• Upgrades and Repair: $750 million to modernize existing transit systems, including renovations to stations, security systems, computers, equipment, structures, signals, and communications. Funds will be distributed through the existing formula. The repair backlog is nearly $50 billion.
• Transit Capital Assistance: $6.9 billion to purchase buses and equipment needed to increase public transportation and improve intermodal and transit facilities. The Department of Transportation estimates a $3.2 billion maintenance backlog and $9.2 billion in needed improvements. The American Public Transportation Association identified 787 ready-to-go transit projects totaling $15.9 billion. Funds will be distributed through the existing formulas.
Amtrak: $1.3 billion to improve the speed and capacity of intercity passenger rail service. The Department of Transportation’s Inspector General estimates the North East Corridor alone has a backlog of over $10 billion.
High Speed Rail and Intercity Passenger Rail Grants: $8 billion to advance the development of high speed rail and to improve the intercity passenger rail service in corridors across the nation. The States for Passenger Rail Coalition estimates that there are over $1.5 billion in projects that are ready-to-go.
Airport Improvement Grants: $1.1 billion for airport improvement projects that will improve safety and reduce congestion. An estimated $49.7 billion in eligible airport infrastructure projects are needed between 2009-2013.
Transportation Security Administration Explosive Detection Systems: $1 billion to install Aviation Explosive Detection Systems and checkpoint screening systems in the nation’s airports, improving security, and making life easier on travelers by speeding security lines. Funds are competitively awarded based on security risk.
Border and Ports of Entry: $720 million to construct GSA and Customs and Border Protection land ports of entry to improve border security, make trade and travel easier and reduce wait times.
Coast Guard: $240 million to rehabilitate and repair Coast Guard infrastructure and obstacles to navigation. Technology Improvements for a More Efficient and Secure Government
• Social Security Administration Modernization: $500 million to replace the 30 year old Social Security Administration’s National Computer Center to meet growing needs for processing retirement and disability claims and records storage.
• Farm Service Agency: $50 million for critical IT improvements to systems.
• State Department Technology: $290 million to upgrade and modernize information technology platforms to meet security requirements post-9/11.
• Department of Agriculture: $24 million for repairs and security improvements at USDA’s headquarters.
Department of Defense Facilities
• Medical Facilities: $1.3 billion for new construction to provide state-of-the-art medical care to service members and their families.
• Facilities Renovations: $4.2 billion to invest in energy efficiency projects and to repair and modernize Department of Defense facilities of which $400 million will be used to improve military medical facilities and $153 million will be used to restore Army barracks.
• Housing for Troops and Their Families: $890 million to improve base housing for our troops and families, and to provide aid to restationing military homeowners.
• Child Development Center: $240 million for new child development centers.
• National Guard: $100 million for new construction to support Guard and Reserve units across the country with operations and training facilities and utilities infrastructure.
• State Extended Care Facilities: $150 million for Grants for Construction of State Extended Care Facilities.
• Claims Processing: $150 million for a temporary increase to claims processing staff.
Veterans Administration Facilities
• Veterans Medical Facilities: $1 billion for veterans’ medical facilities. The Department has identified a $5 billion backlog in needed repairs, including energy efficiency projects, at its 153 medical facilities.
• Veterans Cemeteries: $50 million to put people to work making monument and memorial repairs at cemeteries for American heroes.
Job Corps Facilities: $250 million to upgrade job training facilities serving at-risk youth while improving energy efficiency.
• Clean Water State Revolving Fund: $4 billion for loans to help communities upgrade wastewater treatment systems. EPA estimates a $388 billion funding gap. The Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators found that 26 states have $10 billion in approved water projects.
• Drinking Water State Revolving Fund: $2 billion for loans for drinking water infrastructure. EPA estimates there is a $274 billion funding gap. The National Governors Association reported that there are $6 billion in ready-to-go projects, which could quickly be obligated.
• Rural Water and Waste Disposal: $1.38 billion to support $3.8 billion in grants and loans to help communities fund drinking water and wastewater treatment systems. In 2008, there were $2.4 billion in requests for water and waste loans and $990 million for water and waste grants went unfunded.
• Corps of Engineers: $4.6 billion for environmental restoration, flood protection, hydropower, and navigation infrastructure critical to the economy. The Corps has a construction backlog of $61 billion.
• Bureau of Reclamation: $1 billion to provide clean, reliable drinking water to rural areas and to ensure adequate water supply to western localities impacted by drought.
• Watershed Infrastructure: $340 million for the Natural Resources Conservation Service watershed improvement programs to design and build flood protection and water quality projects, repair aging dams, and purchase and restore conservation easements in river flood zones.
• International Boundary and Water Commission: $220 million to repair flood control systems along the international segment of the Rio Grande damaged by hurricane Katrina and other serious storms.
• Superfund Hazardous Waste Cleanup: $600 million to clean up hazardous and toxic waste sites that threaten health and the environment. EPA has 1,255 sites on its National Priority List, selected based on a hazard ranking system. There are many Superfund sites ready for construction, but not funded due to budget shortfalls and over 600 sites with ongoing construction that could be accelerated.
• Leaking Underground Storage Tanks: $200 million for enforcement and cleanup of petroleum leaks from underground storage tanks at approximately 1,600 additional sites. There are an estimated 116,000 sites with the potential to contaminate important water supplies.
• Nuclear Waste Cleanup: $6 billion for nuclear waste cleanup at sites contaminated by the nation’s past nuclear activities. Accelerating the completion of projects creates jobs and reduces long-term costs.
• NOAA Operations, Research and Facilities: $230 million for ready-to-go habitat restoration, research and maintenance activities.
• Brownfields: $100 million for competitive grants for evaluation and cleanup of former industrial and commercial sites – turning them from problem properties to productive community use. Last year EPA was only able to fund 37% of Brownfields applications.
Construction on Public Lands: $2.5 billion for infrastructure projects on federal lands including improvements to visitor facilities, road and trail restoration, preservation of buildings of cultural and historic importance, rehabilitation of abandoned mines and oil fields, and environmental cleanup projects. This includes $750 million for the National Park Service, $320 million for the Bureau of Land Management, $280 million for the National Wildlife Refuges and National Fish Hatcheries, and $650 million for the Forest Service.
Reducing Wildfires Threats: $515 million for hazardous fuels removal and other efforts to prevent wildfires on America’s wildlands. Making these investments today will create jobs in the short run, but also save long term costs of fighting fires in the future.
Bureau of Indian Affairs: $500 million to address maintenance backlogs at schools, dams, detention and law enforcement facilities, and over 24,000 miles of roads. BIA schools alone have an over $1 billion construction and maintenance backlog including shamefully unsafe conditions.
National Endowment for the Arts: $50 million to support workers in the arts.
EDUCATION FOR THE 21st CEN TURY
We will provide our kids with a 21st Century education and help families send their kids to college so that American students can compete with any worker in the world.
Higher Education: Tuition is up, unemployment is up, and as a result more people are choosing to go to school to upgrade their skills and more of these students need student aid. This investment addresses those short term needs while investing in our nation’s future economic strength.
• Pell Grants: $15.6 billion to increase the maximum Pell Grant by $500, from $4,850 to $5,350.
• College Work-Study: $200 million to support undergraduate and graduate students who work.
K-12 Education and Early Childhood Development: As states begin tackling a projected $350 billion in budget shortfalls these investments will prevent cuts to critical education programs and services.
• IDEA Special Education: $12.2 billion for formula grants to increase the federal share of special education costs and prevent these mandatory costs from forcing states to cut other areas of education.
• Title I Help for Disadvantaged Kids: $13 billion for grants to help disadvantaged kids in nearly every school district and more than half of all public schools reach high academic standards.
• Education Technology: $650 million for 21st century classrooms, including computer and science labs and teacher technology training.
• Statewide Data Systems: $250 million for competitive grants to states to design and develop data systems that analyze individual student data to find ways to improve student achievement, providing teachers and administrators with effective tools.
• Education for Homeless Children and Youth: $70 million for formula grants to states to provide services to homeless children including meals and transportation when high unemployment and home foreclosures have created an influx of homeless kids.
• Improving Teacher Quality: $300 million, including $200 million for competitive grants to school districts and states to provide financial incentives for teachers and principals who raise student achievement and close the achievement gaps in high-need schools and $100 million for competitive grants to states to address teacher shortages and modernize the teaching workforce.
• Child Care Development Block Grant: $2 billion to provide child care services for an additional 300,000 children in low-income families while their parents go to work. Today only one out of seven eligible children receives care.
• Head Start and Early Head Start: $2.1 billion to provide comprehensive development services to help children succeed in school. Funds are distributed based on need. Only about half of all eligible preschoolers and less than 3 percent of eligible infants and toddlers participate in Head Start.
QUALITY AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE
To save not only jobs, but money and lives, we will update and computerize our healthcare system to cut red tape, prevent medical mistakes, and help reduce healthcare costs by billions of dollars each year.
• Health Information Technology: $19 billion to jumpstart efforts to computerize health records to cut costs and reduce medical errors.
• Prevention and Wellness Fund: $1 billion to fight preventable chronic diseases, the leading cause of deaths in the U.S., and infectious diseases. Preventing disease rather than treating illnesses is the most effective way to reduce healthcare costs. This includes hospital infection prevention, immunization programs, and evidence-based disease prevention.
• Healthcare Effectiveness Research: $1.1 billion for Healthcare Research and Quality programs to compare the effectiveness of different medical treatments. Finding out what works best and educating patients and doctors will improve treatment.
• Community Health Centers: $2 billion to increase the number of uninsured Americans who receive quality healthcare and renovate clinics and make health information technology improvements. More than 400 applications submitted earlier this year for new or expanded CHC sites remain unfunded.
• Training Primary Care Providers: $500 million to address shortages and prepare our country for universal healthcare by training primary healthcare providers including doctors, dentists, and nurses as well as helping pay medical school expenses for students who agree to practice in underserved communities through the National Health Service Corps.
• Indian Health Service: $500 million to modernize aging hospitals and health clinics and make healthcare technology upgrades to improve healthcare for underserved rural populations.
HELP WORKERS HURT BY THE ECONOMY
High unemployment and rising costs have outpaced Americans’ paychecks. We will help workers train and find jobs, and help struggling families make ends meet.
Helping Workers Find Jobs
• Training and Employment Services: $3.95 billion for job training including formula grants for adult, dislocated worker, and youth services, and increased funds for the YouthBuild program, and competitive grants for training in health care and green jobs.
• Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants: $500 million for state formula grants to help persons with disabilities prepare for gainful employment.
• Employment Services Grants: $400 million to match unemployed individuals to job openings through state employment service agencies and allow states to provide customized services.
• Community Service Employment for Older Americans: $120 million to provide subsidized community service jobs for low-income older Americans.
Attacking the Housing Crisis
• Public Housing Capital Fund: $4 billion for building repair and modernization, including critical safety repairs. Every dollar of Capital Fund expenditures produces $2.12 in economic return.
• HOME: Low Income Housing Tax Credits: $2.25 billion for gap financing to restart low-income housing construction stalled during the credit crisis.
• Rental Assistance: $2 billion for full-year payments to owners receiving Section 8 project-based rental assistance.
• Native American Housing Block Grants: $510 million to rehabilitate and improve energy efficiency at some of the over 42,000 housing units maintained by Native American housing programs. Half of the funding will be distributed by formula and half will be competitively awarded to projects that can be started quickly.
• Neighborhood Stabilization: $2 billion to help communities purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed, vacant properties in order to create more affordable housing and reduce neighborhood blight.
• Homeless Assistance Grants: $1.5 billion for the Emergency Shelter Grant program to provide short term rental assistance, housing relocation, and stabilization services for families during the economic crisis. Funds are distributed by formula.
• Rural Housing Insurance Fund: $200 million to support $11 billion in direct loans and loan guarantees to help rural families and individuals buy homes during the credit crunch. Last year these programs received a record number of applications.
• Rural Community Facilities: $130 million to support grants and loans to rural areas for critical community facilities, such as for healthcare, education, fire and rescue, day care, community centers, and libraries. There are over $1.2 billion in applications pending.
• Lead Paint: $100 million for competitive grants to local governments and nonprofit organizations to remove lead-based paint hazards in low-income housing.
• Supplemental Nutrition Assistance: $19.9 billion to provide a 13% increase in nutrition assistance to modest-income families and to lift restrictions that limit the amount of time individuals can receive food stamps.
• Senior Nutrition Programs: $100 million for formula grants to states for elderly nutrition services including Meals on Wheels and Congregate Meals.
• School Lunch Program: $100 million to provide schools with assistance in purchasing equipment with priority for low-income schools.
• Emergency Food Assistance Program: $150 million to purchase commodities for food banks to refill emptying shelves.
Payments to Disabled and Elderly: $4.2 billion to help 7.5 million low-income disabled and elderly individuals with rising costs by providing an additional SSI payment in 2009 equal to the average monthly federal payment under the program (approximately $450 for an individual and $630 for a couple). This onetime payment will serve as an immediate economic stimulus as half of SSI recipients have no other form of income and the other half average outside income of less than $450 per month.
Community Services Block Grant: $1 billion for grants to local communities to support employment, food, housing, and healthcare efforts serving those hardest hit by the recession. Community action agencies have seen dramatic increases in requests for their assistance due to rising unemployment, housing foreclosures, and high food and fuel prices.
Community Development Block Grants: $1 billion for community and economic development projects including housing and services for those hit hard by tough economic times.
Emergency Food and Shelter: $100 million to help local community organizations provide food, shelter, and support services to the nation’s hungry, homeless, and people in economic crisis including one-month utility payments to prevent service cut-off and one-month rent or mortgage assistance to prevent evictions or help people leave shelters. Funds are distributed by formula based on unemployment and poverty rates.
Social Security Administration Disability Backlog and Claims Processing: $500 million to help the Social Security Administration process a steep rise in disability and retirement claims, getting people their benefits faster, and preventing existing backlogs from getting worse.
Centers for Independent Living: $140 million for state formula grants to help individuals with disabilities continue to live in their communities.
AmeriCorps Programs: $200 million to put approximately 16,000 additional AmeriCorps members to work doing national service, meeting needs of vulnerable populations and communities during the recession.
Nonprofit Fund: $50 million for grants to community-based organizations to provide critical safety net services to needy individuals and families.
Department of Labor Worker Protection and Oversight: $80 million to ensure that worker protection laws are enforced as recovery infrastructure investments are carried out.
SAVE PUBLIC SECTOR JOBS AND PROTECT VITAL SERVICES
We will provide relief to states, so they can continue to employ teachers, firefighters, and police officers and provide vital services without having to unnecessarily raise middle class taxes.
State and Local Law Enforcement: $4 billion to support state and local law enforcement including $2 billion for Byrne Justice Assistance formula grants to support local law enforcement efforts with equipment and operating costs, and $1 billion for the COPS hiring grant program.
Periodic Census and Programs, Communications: $1 billion for work necessary to ensure a successful 2010 census, including additional personnel and up to $250 million for expanded communications and outreach programs to minimize undercounting.
Firefighter Assistance Grants: $210 million for grants to modify, upgrade, and construct fire stations to ensure that vital emergency response infrastructure remains intact during this economic crisis. Funds will be competitively awarded.
Transit Security Grants: $150 million for grants to protect critical transit infrastructure, including freight rail, Amtrak and ferry systems in high-threat areas. Funds are competitively awarded based on security risk.
Port Security Grants: $150 million for grants to protect critical port facilities and infrastructure. Funds are competitively awarded based on security risk.