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Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Jobs For Main Street Act (H.R. 2847)

The Jobs For Main Street Act (H.R. 2847), introduced by Representative David Obey (D-WI), left, redirects repaid funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) to help create jobs on main street by creating key initiatives to help America's small businesses. Specifically, the bill expands the federal guarantee for banks that lend to small businesses and eliminates fees on Small Business Administration (SBA) loans.

This legislation is the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 2847. HR 2847 passed the House on December 16 by a vote of Passed, 217-212, with 6 not voting. The Senate is not going to start working on this until Congress reconvenes after the holidays in early 2010. A lot of this funding may stay, or it could get tossed, depending on what final legislation is negotiated between the House and the Senate. The Center supports H.R. 2847.

H.R. 2847 would provide approximately $70 billion in discretionary spending for a second Democrat economic "stimulus" similar to H.R. 1, which passed in February 2009. Funds for this new spending would be offset with rescissions from the Troubled Asset Relief Fund (TARP). In addition, the bill includes roughly $79 billion in extensions and expansions of mandatory spending programs and tax provisions.

The bill would provide billions in funding for many of the same programs that received spending increases in the first Democrat stimulus:

~ $41 billion for an Unemployment Insurance benefit extension and

~ $23 billion to increase federal Medicaid payments to States.

~ $48 billion in infrastructure spending to rebuild roads and bridges[$27.5 billion on highway spending], modernize public buildings and mass transit and clean our water and air.

~ $27 billion to save or create 250,000 education jobs over the next two years, and helps retain law enforcement officers and firefighters.

~ $500 million to create 250,000 summer jobs for low-income kids.

~ $750 million for job training programs at community colleges, a third of which is targeted at low-income trainees.

The bill also includes provisions to stabilize the Highway Trust Fund. It restores $19.5 billion in interest payments foregone on the Trust Fund’s previous cash balances, and lifts the ban on the Trust Fund receiving interest payments in the future. The bill calls for the General Fund, rather than the Highway Trust Fund, to support long-standing fuel tax exemptions, such as those provided to state and local governments. This provision will increase Trust Fund balances by about $1.7 billion annually, for a total of $9.8 billion over six years. (GOP.gov, Fleet Owner, 12/17/09)

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