For Immediate Release: February 10, 2009
Senate Recovery Package Addresses Urgent Needs
Bill, However, Falls Short of Critical Investments Included In House-Passed Version
(Washington, D.C.) Following is a statement from Alan Houseman, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), regarding today's Senate passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The $838 billion package represents a compromise between Democrats and three Republicans and departs from the House-passed version in critical areas.
"We are pleased that senators came to a compromise and passed the recovery act. Ordinary Americans continue to feel the everyday consequences of slow action, including mounting job losses and trouble meeting basic needs such as food and shelter. Low-income Americans are especially hard hit by this recession and in need of the jobs, tax relief and other provisions this bill provides.
"The Senate version of the recovery act shores up vital safety net programs that will help Americans weather these tough economic times, but it falls short of the House bill on several critical programs that will help the nation's most vulnerable families today and in the future. It provides a less generous child tax credit, fewer dollars for Pell Grants and less money for Head Start and Early Head Start. At the same time, it actually costs more than the House bill due to poorly targeted tax breaks that will not stimulate the economy.
"As House and Senate conferees debate the final language of the bill, we urge them to focus on investments that strengthen our country: job creation, meeting the needs of vulnerable Americans and their families, and investing in children, families and communities today for a better future.
CLASP develops and advocates for policies at the federal, state and local levels that improve the lives of low-income people. We focus on policies that strengthen families and create pathways to education and work. Through careful research and analysis and effective advocacy, we develop and promote new ideas, mobilize others, and directly assist governments and advocates to put in place successful strategies that deliver results that matter to people across America.