Washington, DC – To create jobs in California, where unemployment is 12.5 percent – one of the highest rates in the nation – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35) voted with her Democratic colleagues to pass a jobs creation bill. The Jobs on Main Street Act will create or save jobs in California and throughout the United States by making targeted investments in critical industries that will put Americans to work. The legislation provides $75 billion for highways and transit, school renovation, hiring teachers, police, and firefighters, small business, job training and affordable housing. It also includes emergency funding for unemployment benefits.
“This was one of the easiest votes I’ve ever had to cast,” said Congresswoman Waters. “For over a year now we’ve been focused on bailouts for Wall Street, ensuring the big boys were taken care of because they were ‘too big to fail’. Today’s vote demonstrates that this Congress’ priority moving forward is Main Street, because putting Americans back to work is how we will really put this recession behind us.”
The Act is paid for with unused funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which was used to stabilize the financial industry following its near-collapse in September 2008.
To help those Americans hit hardest by the recession, the bill also extends emergency unemployment benefits, helps with health benefits for those out of work through COBRA, protects health care coverage for millions through Medicaid, and cuts taxes for the families of 16 million children by making the Child Tax Credit available to all low-income working families with children in 2010.
“My constituents, like many Californians and people across the United States, know about underemployment and unemployment,” said Congresswoman Waters. “Though the national rate of unemployment stands at 10 percent, for Latinos and African Americans that number is 12.7 percent and 15.6 percent, respectively. And among youth in the African American community some put the number as high as 35 or 40 percent. This bill will provide the funds necessary to not only help people during this time of mass-unemployment, but also help create and save jobs in critical industries that will provide people with meaningful work.”
To further assist people struggling during this economic downturn, Congresswoman Waters recently led a group of Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) lawmakers on the Financial Services Committee in securing $4 billion within the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act for unemployed homeowners and devastated communities dealing with the foreclosure crisis.
Deputy Press Secretary
Office of Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35)