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American Recovery and Reinvestment: President-Elect Obama Outlines his Plans for an Economic Recovery Package

03:36 PM Jan 08, 2009

This morning, President-Elect Barack Obama delivered remarks at George Mason University where he outlined his plan for urgent action on recovering from the economic crisis and reinvesting in America.

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs has been advocating on behalf of an economic recovery plan for several months, and this morning's speech included many of the priorities we have been pushing for to create new jobs, promote long-term economic growth, and care for those vulnerable populations most impacted by the recession.

We urge you to read the speech entitled, "American Recovery and Reinvestment" to get a sense of what kinds of programs and policies the President-Elect will be pushing for in the economic recovery package that Congress will take up shortly.

In his remarks, President-Elect Obama stated that he believes his plan will save or create at least three million jobs over the next several years. The plan has both short-term policies designed to jumpstart our flailing economy and long-term plans designed to invest in priorities such as energy, education, healthcare, and infrastructure. Some of the specific policy prescriptions outlined in the speech include:

    • Doubling the production of alternative energy in the next three years, modernizing 75% of federal buildings and improving the energy efficiency of two million American homes. These plans are designed to put us on a path towards energy independence, combat global climate change, and create new green jobs;
    • Computerizing America's medical records to cut waste and bureaucracy, promote healthcare savings, and create new jobs;
    • Investing in infrastructure. This includes repairing our crumbling roads, bridges, and schools, but also expanding broadband in rural areas, investing in new technologies, and building a new smart grid that will protect our power sources from black-outs and attack and deliver cleaner energy;
    • Providing fiscal relief to states and tax relief to 95% of working families.

It is critical that Congress pass and the President approve an economic recovery package as soon as possible. In the coming weeks, we will be providing you with updates and advocacy opportunities so that you can contact your members of Congress about the elements of the recovery package that reflect that needs you are seeing and responding to in your communities.

A great resource is, "Towards Shared Recovery", which outlines programs that create jobs and stimulate the economy, while simultaneously assisting vulnerable populations and providing relief to low-income Americans. In particular, JCPA is championing a boost in the SNAP/Food Stamp program and other nutrition assistance, a temporary increase in the federal Medicaid match (known as FMAP), and an extension and reform of unemployment insurance.

If you have any questions, or would like additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Melissa Boteach at

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