Restoring America's economic strength is just as important as winning the war on terrorism. Congress must pass an economic recovery plan that helps those hurt most on Sept. 11 as well as assist businesses and provide incentives to create jobs. This new plan stimulates our economy quickly without hurting our nation's long-term fiscal health.
The plan helps unemployed workers with their benefits, offers job retraining assistance, provides health insurance where needed, gives tax breaks to individuals and helps businesses create jobs. The proposal keeps our promise to America's laid off workers, gives targeted tax cuts to spur investment and maintains our fiscal discipline.
Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy urged House and Senate leadership to pass a focused, fiscally responsible economic stimulus package. From left in the background are Congressman Jay Inslee (WA), New Democrat Coalition Co-Chair Congressman Adam Smith (WA) and Congressman Cal Dooley (CA).
I believe Congress must provide a minimum of 13 weeks of extended unemployment benefits to those who exhaust their regular unemployment benefits after Sept. 11. Many people have lost their jobs and need retraining to re-enter the job market. To help these people, I support providing $5 billion in grants to states for retraining assistance.
I support paying up to 75 percent of an unemployed worker's health insurance premium under COBRA for a period of 12 months. If workers do not qualify for COBRA, states should receive assistance to cover the cost of medical coverage under the Medicaid program.
Many people did not receive a tax rebate check earlier this year or did not receive the full amount. I favor issuing tax rebate checks to those who were previously left out. I also support an effort to allow individuals and businesses to be free of paying taxes on Social Security, pocketing that money instead.
Business is the driving force of our economy and the creator of jobs. I support a series of business tax cuts, credits and other incentives to reinvest, allowing business expansion and the creation of new jobs.
The New Democrat Plan is a good, solid plan. I urge my colleagues to pass this bill.