Langevin Announces Support for Sensible Economic Stimulus Package

Jan 6, 2003
(Washington, D.C.)–Congressman Jim Langevin today announced his support for an economic plan designed to jump-start the weakened U.S. economy and improve the job market, not just the stock market.  The plan includes a provision that would extend unemployment benefits for almost 1 million American families whose benefits have expired since December 28.

 “This common sense plan will provide opportunity and relief to millions of  families and spark economic growth,” said Congressman Langevin.  “While average, hard-working families struggle to make ends meet, the Administration is once again currying favor with corporations and the wealthiest taxpayers.  Jobs for individuals are far more important than additional dividend investment for the wealthy.”

 The economic stimulus plan as introduced by House Democrats today includes:
· An extension of unemployment benefits retroactively for 26 weeks, and temporary aid to the states to broaden coverage to low wage earners and part-time workers.  
· A refundable income tax rebate of up to $300 per person or $600 per working couple.
· A provision allowing small businesses to expense up to $50,000 of the cost of new investments made in 2003, to boost cash flow and investment now.
· $10 billion in grants to states for homeland security enhancements to strengthen security at airports, sea ports, rail tunnels, terminals, transportation facilities, and other potential targets
· $5 billion for highway funding, and to allow states to postpone their matching share of project costs (including homeland-security transportation projects) for up to two years.
· A one-year, one-time increase in the federal share of Medicaid payments

The Democratic plan will create approximately 1 million jobs, pumping billions into the struggling economy by putting money in the hands of consumers, encouraging businesses to create jobs, and investing in a secure and healthy future. 

Economic growth is the weakest in 50 years, and consumer confidence is down. Over 2 million private sector jobs have been eliminated since President Bush took office and long-term joblessness has more than doubled in that time, now totaling more than three million.

States, including Rhode Island, are facing huge deficits and are being forced to cut critical health and education spending. At the same time, the states are being asked to spend more than ever on a range of items including homeland security.  The proposal supported by Langevin addresses these critical weaknesses.

“Now more than ever, our nation’s leaders must begin to practice sound fiscal management, or our economy will continue to face the same challenges that hinder growth today,” added Langevin.  “Ignoring the growing debt and returning to deficit spending will prevent our economy from growing and stall the creation of new jobs.”