House Passes Jobs Bill Aimed at Saving and Creating Jobs for “Main Street” Families
Washington, DC - Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation - the Jobs for Main Street Act - which redirects $75 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) savings from Wall Street to Main Street to fund infrastructure and job investments, further stabilize jobs and provide additional emergency funding to help families, among other things. The bill now awaits consideration in the U.S. Senate.
"There are millions of individuals and families who continue to struggle to make ends meet - facing bill payments, mortgage costs, the end of unemployment benefits and skyrocketing health care costs," said Congressman John Tierney (D-MA). "The Jobs for Main Street Act focuses on creating and saving jobs with targeted investments in such areas as job training, infrastructure improvements and provides emergency relief for those hurt most by the economy. Building on the investments made through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), it is my hope the Jobs for Main Street Act will provide relief and support to Americans who continue to look toward a better future for themselves and their families."
Provisions in Jobs for Main Street Act include:
• Job Training for High Growth Fields: $750 million for competitive grants to support job training for approximately 150,000 individuals in high growth and emerging industry sectors, particularly in the health care and green industries that are adding jobs despite difficult economic conditions.
• Summer Youth Employment: $500 million for a summer employment program for youth. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate for teenagers (age 16 to 19) reached 26.7% in November 2009 - the highest level recorded since BLS began collecting data. These funds are intended to support summer youth employment for approximately 250,000 disadvantaged youth.
• College Work Study: $300 million to support the College Work Study program, which supports low- and moderate-income undergraduate and graduate students who work while attending college. Together with institutional matching funds, this appropriation is intended to help approximately 250,000 students stay in school.
Additionally, the Main Street Act provides:
• $23 billion to save an estimated 250,000 education jobs over the next two years;
• $41 billion to extend for six months expanded unemployment benefits, including increased payouts and longer duration of benefits; and
• $12.3 billion to extend from nine to 15 months the 65 percent COBRA premium support for individuals who have lost their jobs. In addition, the bill extends eligibility through June 30, 2010.