Thank you for contacting me regarding the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (H.R. 1). I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue. I understand that American families are struggling as the economic situation continues to deteriorate. These are extraordinarily challenging times. Bold action is needed to restore confidence in our country’s economy and financial markets, and to get people back to work. The recovery bills that passed the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate are designed to provide immediate help for those struggling to weather the crisis, and to begin the long-term process of rebuilding our economy and creating needed jobs. It’s a plan to provide hope and opportunity for all hardworking Americans. As a member of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, I continue to pursue policies that promote growth in the economy and increase standards of living for Washingtonians. We do that though turning our economy in a new direction. And we transform our economy by investing in clean energy and creating high-paying jobs in the United States to support those new industries. Our country can reduce its dependence on foreign oil, and protect American consumers from a repeat of the dramatic spike in oil prices that devastated your budgets in 2007 and 2008, if we make these investments now. I supported the bill that passed the U.S. Congress on February 13, 2009, in part because it put a down payment on our economic transition to a clean energy future and will create tens of thousands of green jobs. The bill provides $11 billion investment in smart grid technology and infrastructure based on language I authored in the 2007 Energy bill. This money will create 73,500 jobs nationwide to make the use of our energy more efficient. This bill also extends tax credits for investments in wind and solar energy by 3 years, doubles Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs) to finance facilities that generate electricity from wind, geothermal, hydropower and other renewable energy sources, and provides a $2,500 tax credit for consumers who purchase plug-in electric vehicles. In addition to creating a new green economy, this bill also strengthens our focus on education, health care, and infrastructure, and provides the necessary resources in these areas to ensure a strong future for our children. In Washington state alone, this bill will create or save an estimated 75,000 jobs over the next two years. In addition, more than 2.45 million workers and their families will benefit from the “Making Work Pay” tax cut of up to $1,000 per couple, and for many workers who have lost their jobs, the plan allows an additional $100 per month and an additional 33 weeks of unemployment benefits. For small businesses, the bill provides increased access to credit. The bill also will increase private capital in order to continue plans for affordable housing developments across our state. Other important elements in the Senate-passed legislation include: an extension of existing Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) programs, giving extended income support and training benefits for workers who lose their jobs because of increased imports or factory shifts to certain countries; an additional $2.06 billion in Medicaid relief for Washington families; a new American Opportunity Tax Credit that will make college more affordable for 67,000 families; and an expansion of the Earned Income Tax and Child Tax Credits for low-income working families. Rebuilding our economy is an ongoing process, and is not something that can be fixed overnight. It is important that as we work to craft effective economic recovery legislation we strike an appropriate balance among our nation’s priorities. Please be assured that I will keep your ideas in mind as the Senate moves forward in addressing these critical issues. Thank you so much for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter. Finally, I would like to keep you informed of what is happening in D.C. Every Monday, I provide a brief outline about my work in the Senate and issues of importance to Washington state. If you are interested in getting this update, please visit my website at http://cantwell.senate.gov. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.
United States Senator
My reply to her letter;
Thank you for your reply however I do not share your optimism for this plan. We Washitonians will be holding you to your word on this and will be watching and tracking the so called stimulus aspects of this Bill to see what measure of success is met according to your assessment presented in your reply. I, as well as many many others believe that this extravagant spending will do little for the economy and save very few jobs if any. short term job creation and moneys to pet projects do not count as a success. This Bill is full of ear marks which will not create any long term meaningful jobs for those who are going to loose theirs during this administrations train wreck. We tax payers are being saddled with unimaginable dept and deficits with this reckless spending spree. I will be forwarding this information and disseminating it to all who are interested in your response to my initial letter regarding this subject. The voting public is watching and we will vote accordingly come the next election cycle if these promises are not realized.