WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), the dean of the Massachusetts congressional delegation, issued the following statement today on the one-year anniversary of President Obama signing into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act:
“A little more than a year ago, our nation was plunged into the worst economic recession since the Great Depression,” said Markey. “Urgent action was needed to respond to this crisis. That is why Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and why President Obama signed this landmark bill into law one year ago today.
“A year later, the Recovery Act is working to keep cops on the beat, teachers in the classroom and put people back to work building roads, bridges and weatherizing our homes and businesses. All told, the Recovery Act has created or saved over 2 million jobs here in Massachusetts and across the country.”
The bill has provided tax relief for over 95 percent of Americans, including an estimated 230,000 families in the 7th Congressional District who have benefitted from the Making Work Pay Tax Credit.
“We did not get into this economic crisis overnight and it will take more than 12 months to undue the 8 years of failed economic and deregulatory policies of the Bush Administration. But the Recovery Act is clearly helping to turn our economy around and get struggling families back on their feet,” said Markey.
Rep. Markey, the Chairman of twin climate and energy panels in the House, also highlighted the clean energy provisions in the bill.
“The Recovery Act is also a key component of America’s tectonic shift away from dependence on foreign oil. The bill should be celebrated for what it has saved -- jobs, money and energy. By making smart investments in clean energy technology, doubling our renewable output and funding efficiency and weatherization projects, the Recovery Act created jobs that save families and small businesses money on their electricity bills.”
So far, $2.4 billion in grants have been awarded to companies and educational institutions in over 20 states to fund 48 new advanced battery and electric auto projects - creating an entire new domestic industry, on target to take back 40 percent of the advanced battery market by 2015.
Thanks in part to support from the Recovery Act, the wind industry has blown past growth projections and grew its capacity nearly 40 percent in. Investing in solar projects at schools and government buildings helped lower energy costs to taxpayers and local community budgets. The $10 billion efficiency investment in federal buildings alone will save taxpayers $2 billion a year – creating renewable savings based on renewable energy.
The impact of the Recovery Act can also be felt at home. Weatherizing 5 million homes will save working families an average of $350 on their energy bills per year, cutting their costs by nearly one third.
The bill also included a provision authored by Rep. Markey to include vital privacy protections for patients’ electronic medical information. The amendment requires that medical records be made indecipherable to unauthorized users when the information is transmitted in health IT systems and stored on removable devices such as laptops, flash drives and similar items. In addition, Markey pushed for investments in broadband infrastructure to unserved and underserved areas.
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