The measures are nominally worth $787 billion. The Act includes federal tax relief, expansion of unemployment benefits and other social welfare provisions, and domestic spending in education, health care, and infrastructure, including the energy sector.
The Act also includes numerous non-economic recovery related items that were either part of longer-term plans (e.g. a study of the effectiveness of medical treatments) or desired by Congress (e.g. a limitation on executive compensation in federally aided banks added by Senator Dodd and Rep. Frank). The government action is much larger than the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, which consisted primarily of tax rebate checks.
- Save and create more than 3.5 million jobs over the next two years;
- Take a big step toward computerizing Americans’ health records, reducing medical errors, and saving billions in health care costs;
- Revive the renewable energy industry and provide the capital over the next three years to eventually double domestic renewable energy capacity;
- Undertake the largest weatherization program in history by modernizing 75 percent of federal building space and more than one million homes;
- Increase college affordability for seven million students by funding the shortfall in Pell Grants, increasing the maximum award level by $500, and providing a new higher education tax cut to nearly four million students;
- As part of the $150 billion investment in new infrastructure, enact the largest increase in funding of our nation’s roads, bridges, and mass transit systems since the creation of the national highway system in the 1950s;
- Provide an $800 Making Work Pay tax credit for 129 million working households, and cut taxes for the families of millions of children through an expansion of the Child Tax Credit;
- Require unprecedented levels of transparency, oversight, and accountability.
In the face of an economic crisis, the magnitude of which we have not seen since the Great Depression, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act represents a strategic — and significant — investment in our country’s future.
The Act will save and create three to four million jobs, 90 percent of them in the private sector. It will provide more than $150 billion to low-income and vulnerable households — spurring increased economic activity that will save and create more than one million jobs.
These measures are necessary to help the millions of families whose lives have been upended by the economic crisis. But, this Act will do more than provide short-term stimulus. By modernizing our health care, improving our schools, modernizing our infrastructure, and investing in the clean energy technologies of the future, the Act will lay the foundation for a robust and sustainable 21st century economy.
The full bill is here