House agrees with Rep. Johnson: Use TARP funds to create jobs

December 16, 2009
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following Rep. Hank Johnson’s (GA-04) lead, the House on Dec. 16 passed the Jobs for Main Street Act, which would redirect $75 billion in unused Trouble Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds to save or create thousands of construction, teaching and public safety jobs.

For those hardest hit by the recession, the bill includes $79 billion in emergency relief to extend unemployment benefits and help with health benefits (COBRA) for those out of work.

Building on Johnson’s H. Res. 950, which was introduced last week and urged his House colleagues to redirect TARP funds from Wall Street to Main Street, the bill will target $75 billion in investments for highways and transit, school renovation, hiring teachers, police, and firefighters, small business, job training and affordable housing. 

These investments are fully paid for by redirecting TARP funds. 

“With unemployment in Atlanta and the nation stubbornly above 10 percent, we must do more to create jobs,” said Johnson. “Tapping unspent TARP funds can put people back to work by helping us break ground on more shovel-ready infrastructure projects, expand credit to small businesses and offer critical job training.”

Of the $75 billion in targeted investments, more than $35 billion will be spent on highways and mass transit to help save or create about 900,000 jobs and $23 billion to help states save or create an estimated 250,000 education jobs over the next two years with an Education Jobs Fund solely focused on paying salaries.

“This will help keep our economy on the path to recovery,” said Johnson. “We must make every effort to ensure residents can stay in their homes, that small business owners gain easier access to capital and credit, and help keep teachers, police, and firefighters on the job in our communities.”

Emergency relief to families includes extending unemployment, COBRA and child tax credit benefits through June 2010.

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