American Recovery and Reinvestment Press Conference
February 5, 2009
Good morning everyone. Thank you all very, very much for being here in Laurel, Maryland. I really want to thank Vice President Biden for being here today to underscore the importance of President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.
It is great to be here also with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood who is joining us, and Senator Ben Cardin.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan and our Country
We’re here today to support President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan – which is one of the most important pieces of legislation in a generation.
This is about strengthening and growing the ranks of an upwardly mobile middle class in our country. It is about our families, and it is about our future.
If we truly want to see the end of this recession, if we truly want America’s economy to recover, then we must make investments today that will bring our economy back.
China invests 9% of its GDP in infrastructure. India invests 5%. Sadly, the United States in recent years has been investing less than 2%.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan and Maryland
Here in Maryland, the funding in this legislation will allow us to make crucial improvements to our roads, bridges, tunnels, and public transit system – like this MARC station we toured today. Every single day 700 commuters pass through this station. They rely upon it not only to go to work, but also to save money – to get out of their cars, and to reduce their commuting expenses.
The funds in the Recovery and Reinvestment Plan at this site are part of the investments that here in Maryland would sustain 20,000 infrastructure-related jobs. And it would provide more than $1 billion for our roads, bridges, mass transit, flood control, and clean water projects.
And that’s not all it would mean for Maryland:
- It would help our State avoid 700 layoffs and forgo painful cuts throughout our budget.
- It would help sustain 70,000 jobs (on top of the 20,000 related to transit infrastructure I mentioned) in industries ranging from clean energy to health care;
- It would help more than two million Marylanders struggling to pay their bills by providing a $1,000 tax credit.
- It would help make the dreams of a college education more of a reality for 53,000 Marylanders.
- It would provide an additional $100 per month in unemployment insurance benefits to over 200,000 Marylanders who’ve lost their jobs during these tough times;
- It would allow us to invest more than $1 billion to modernize at least 138 public schools in Maryland.
It is now my honor to be able to introduce one of our outstanding Maryland senators who is in the halls of Congress leading this fight every day, making sure that we put an end to this recession – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin.