– U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Budget Committee, released the following statement following Senate passage of H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“The bill we passed in the Senate today is a victory for all Americans. I am very pleased that we were able to move forward on legislation that gives President Obama the tools he needs to deal with our severe economic times. We’ve provided a balance of tax cuts and spending programs that will help jumpstart our economy.
“The bill passed by the Senate is timely. It will create jobs immediately in Maryland and across the country, helping our states and local communities by providing funding for ready-to-go projects, such as fixing crumbling roads and bridges. This bill is targeted. It puts money back in the pockets of Americans who are most likely to spend it, injecting needed capital into our economy. It helps people stay in their homes, keep their jobs, and take care of their families. It also invests in modernizing our rail and mass transit systems and allocates new funds for education, alternative energy, and health care technology, all of which will help create and save quality jobs in the short-term, but also will save us billions of dollars in the future through lower energy usage, lower health care costs, and a better
“I am pleased that we’ve included in the Senate-passed bill an amendment that I authored to help small businesses compete and grow. Small business has always been and will continue to be the engine that drives our economy out of bad times through job creation. By raising the caps on surety bond guarantees to $5 million, we will enable small businesses to compete for a larger piece of government contracts and ensure that the government spreads its work among companies of varying size, rather than favoring only big businesses. We witnessed enough of that for the last eight years.
“I urge my colleagues on the conference committee to work diligently and swiftly. The final product must be significant enough to make a difference. Diluting this bill or delaying it further will only hurt the American people.”