Skip to content
Rep. Travis Childers (D) votes...

Rep. Travis Childers (D) votes “YES” on Stimulus Plan

By: Magnolia Tribune - January 29, 2009

Congressman Travis Childers Votes to Uplift Hard Working North Mississippians, Restore Economy and Create Jobs

Washington, DC – Congressman Travis Childers (D-MS) today voted to
create thousands of jobs for hard working Mississippians and help
restore both the national and state economy. The American Economic
Recovery and Reinvestment Act (H.R. 1) will provide billions of dollars
in stimulus funding for Mississippi to save and create jobs, and to
uplift the economy through investments in education, infrastructure, and
health care, as well as significant tax relief. The legislation passed
in the House by a vote of 244 to 188.

“Jobs are the number one issue in North Mississippi,” said Congressman
Childers. “In the last year, a staggering 2.6 million American jobs were
lost. This week, our national economy lost more than 70,000 jobs,
further verifying that our country is in desperate need of immediate
action. Mississippi’s unemployment rate has risen 1.7 percent, and the
First District’s jobless rate is now on par with unemployment in the
Delta region. It’s time to get our economy back on track.

“With the onslaught of closures and layoffs in furniture, manufacturing,
and other industries important to North Mississippi, hard working
families are struggling more and more to make ends meet. The recovery
package provides billions of dollars in funding for education, health
care, and infrastructure in Mississippi – all areas where our state
faces potential shortfalls and budget cuts. Additionally, the package
offers much needed tax relief for individuals, businesses, and state and
local governments.

“Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office warned of severe economic
consequences if today’s legislation was not passed. On three different
occasions, I have voted against authorizing vast sums of money to
bailout Wall Street from its own recklessness. However, I felt compelled
to support legislation that will uplift Main Street and help get the
hard working people of Mississippi back on their feet.

“The recovery package has unprecedented levels of accountability,
oversight, and transparency, and does not include a single earmark. In
addition, the House voted yesterday on a rule to designate the money
included in the package as emergency funding, which is technically
exempt from PAYGO rules. That being said, I understand that this
legislation calls for the authorization of a huge sum of money and, if
the Senate returns the bill to the House with excessive additions, I
will be inclined to vote against it.

“If this legislation passes, regardless of how I ultimately vote on the
Senate’s version, I will continue working hard to make sure North
Mississippi gets its fair share of these funds.”

The American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act will create jobs and
offer unemployment relief, invest in education, infrastructure, and
health care, and provide tax relief through the following measures:

Job Creation and Unemployment Relief

* The American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act will create
and save 3 to 4 million jobs. A recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
report estimated that passage of the House’s stimulus package will lead
to job increases of somewhere between 800,000 to 2.1 million this year,
1.2 million and 3.6 million in 2010, and 700,000 and 2.1 million in

* Economist Mark Zandi estimates that the recovery act will reduce
unemployment in Mississippi by 1.6 percent.

* The recovery package would extend unemployment insurance
benefits through the end of 2009 and increase the benefit by $25 per
week. The Extension would provide critical assistance to approximately 3
million people through 2009, while the benefit increase will help nearly
20 million unemployed workers.

* According to the Joint Committee on Taxation and CBO, the bill
will provide health insurance coverage to more than eight million people

o Providing a 65 percent subsidy for COBRA premiums for up to 12
months for people who were involuntarily separated from their jobs
between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009.

o Providing states the temporary option of offering coverage to
unemployed workers through their Medicaid programs, with the federal
government matching 100 percent of the costs of benefits and

* The recovery act will also provide $46.2 million in Employment
and Training funding for the State of Mississippi for the next two


* The recovery package will provide an estimated $91 million in
funds for schools in all 24 counties of the First District, and an
estimated total of $507.2 million for schools throughout Mississippi,
over the next two years. These funds will be given directly to
individual school districts.

* The legislation will provide the following education fund totals
for the State of Mississippi for the next two years:

o State Fiscal Stabilization Fund to prevent teacher layoffs and
other cutbacks in education and other key services – $637 million

o No Child Left Behind – $172.1 million

o Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) – $139.3

o Educational Technology State Grants used to integrate technology
into curricula in order to improve teaching and learning – $12.9 million

o Education Modernization, Renovation, and Repair funds to
renovate and modernize classrooms and buildings at both K-12 schools and
higher education institutions- $248.7 million

o Pell Grant Increase of $500 (for a maximum of $5,350 in 2009 and
$5,550 in 2010) – $392.1 million to benefit an estimated 96,824 students

o Head Start – $15.7 million

o Child Care & Development Block Grant to provide child care
services to additional children in low-income families while their
parents go to work – $31 million

* Economist Mark Zandi estimates that that this package will save
or create more than 250,000 jobs in the health care and education


* Modernizing roads, bridges, transit, and waterways under the
recovery package will create an estimated 1.5 million American jobs.

* The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) will receive
$425.8 million in infrastructure investments from the recovery act. This
money will be used to fund projects in the following areas:

o Highways and Bridges (there are currently 75 Highways and
Bridges projects that are ready-to-go in Mississippi) – $353 million

o Transit Capital – $20.4 million

o Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) – $52.3 million

Health Care

* The American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act will provide
Mississippi with $697.5 million in Medicaid funding over the next nine
fiscal quarters (2.25 years), helping reduce potential funding
shortfalls in the coming fiscal years.

* The package provides $20 billion to accelerate adoption of
Health Information Technology (HIT) systems by doctors and hospitals, in
order to modernize the health care system, save billions of dollars,
reduce medical errors, and improve quality.

* The recovery act makes the single largest investment in
prevention in history – by providing $3 billion for a new Prevention and
Wellness Fund. This includes funding for the Preventive Health and
Health Services Block Grant, which provides needed resources to state
and local public health departments to address prevention and wellness
at the local level. Mississippi’s share of this grant is $4.7 million.

Tax Relief

* The “Making Work Pay” Tax Credit will cut taxes for more than 95
percent of working families in the United States. The recovery plan will
provide an immediate, direct refund to families through a reduction in
the amount of income tax that is withheld from their paychecks, or
through claiming the credit on tax returns. The tax credit will benefit
an estimated 935,000 Mississippi taxpayers.

* The package will provide critical tax relief to hardworking
families by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for working
families with three or more children and increasing the EITC marriage
penalty relief, allowing these families to take home a little more from
their paycheck each month.

* The package will temporarily increase the eligibility for the
refundable child tax credit, allowing millions of additional families to
get tax relief. This child tax credit provision will benefit an
estimated 210,000 children in Mississippi.

* The recovery act will also provide important tax relief for
state and local governments, as well as businesses to spur investment
and job creation.


* The package contains no earmarks.

* The recovery legislation has unprecedented levels of
accountability, oversight, and transparency. It includes a dedicated
website,, which will allow citizens to track every penny
and hold federal, state, and local officials accountable for

Rep. Travis Childers Press Release

About the Author(s)
author profile image

Magnolia Tribune

This article was produced by Magnolia Tribune staff.