“Madam Speaker I rise in support of HR 4899, The Disaster Relief and Summer Jobs Act of 2010.
“I want to especially thank Chairman Obey and Chairman Miller, for working with me and my colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus to ensure that this legislation includes funding for youth summer jobs to target funds for those Americans who are hurting the most.
“The members of the Congressional Black Caucus have been laser focused on stimulating our economy and creating jobs, especially for the chronically unemployed.
“As my colleagues know we are currently in the midst of a 5-week campaign launched at the beginning of this month to seek policy solutions for the chronically unemployed.
“Our aim is to engage President Obama, leadership and members of Congress, and coalition partners in a strategy to put
“One of the key components of our proposed jobs package was to provide $1.3 billion to the youth summer jobs program with the goal of creating approximately 500,000 jobs for young people throughout the country.
“The CBC has met with the President and raised the importance of the summer jobs program to help address the huge unemployment rate among young people.
“When you take a look at the numbers, it’s clear why this funding is so critical.
“The youth unemployment rate currently stands at more than 23 percent.
“Many low-income and minority youth populations face even greater challenges.
“African-American youth unemployment rates are now estimated to be as high as 42 percent.
“So we need targeted assistance to help put our young people to work, and to teach them an array of valuable job skills that they can use throughout life.
“While HR 4899 does not include the full $1.3 billion for youth summer jobs that we requested, it does make a down payment of $600 million – which is fully paid for – to create approximately 300,000 new jobs.
“That’s an important step forward, but frankly we need the full amount. I hope that we can continue to work to expand and increase funding for this valuable program.
“In addition this bill will provide $5.1 billion in disaster relief to local communities through FEMA to address the impact of the recent storms and disasters throughout the country.
“And finally, the bill will include an additional $60 million to extend a provision from the Recovery Act for another month to help small businesses defray the costs of certain loan fees charged by the Small Business A
“As the Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, I’m pleased that we are able to provide a short term infusion in funding for the summer jobs program, and that we are moving forward this jobs creation package.
“Taken together this bill is another important step toward spurring economic growth and creating jobs, particularly for the chronically unemployed.
“I thank the Chairman again for the time and I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this job creation package.”