Highlights of the $819 billion economic recovery plan drafted by
House Democrats and President Barack Obama's economic team.
Additional debt costs would add $347 billion over 10 years. Many
provisions expire in two years.
Aid to the poor and unemployed - $43 billion to provide extended
unemployment benefits through Dec. 31, increase them by $25 a week
and provide job training; $20 billion to increase food stamp
benefits by 13 percent; $4 billion to provide a one-time additional
Supplemental Security Income payment; $2.5 billion in temporary
welfare payments; $1 billion for home heating subsidies; and $1
billion for community action agencies.
Health care - $40 billion to subsidize health care insurance for
the unemployed under the COBRA program or provide health care
through Medicaid; $87 billion to help states with Medicaid; $20
billion to modernize health information technology systems; $4
billion for preventative care; $1.5 billion for community health
centers; $420 million to combat avian flu; $335 million for
programs that combat AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and
Infrastructure - $43 billion for transportation projects,
including $30 billion for highway and bridge construction and
repair and $12 billion for mass transit, including $7.5 billion to
buy transit equipment like buses; $31 billion to build and repair
federal buildings and other public infrastructure; $19 billion in
water projects; $10 billion in rail and mass transit projects.
Education - $41 billion in grants to local school districts; $79
billion in state fiscal relief to prevent cuts in state aid; $21
billion for school modernization; $16 billion to boost the maximum
Pell Grant by $500 to $5,350; $2 billion for Head Start.
Energy - $32 billion to fund a so-called "smart electricity
grid" to reduce waste; $6 billion to weatherize modest-income
Science and technology - $10 billion for science facilities; $6
billion to bring high-speed Internet access to rural and
underserved areas; $1 billion for the 2010 Census.
Housing - $13 billion to repair and make more energy-efficient
public housing projects, allow communities to buy and repair
foreclosed homes, and help the homeless.
Environment - $3.2 billion to clean up Superfund and waste
sites, leaking underground storage tanks, nuclear sites and
military bases, as well as $400 million for habitat restoration
projects and $850 million to prevent forest fires.
Law enforcement - $4 billion in grants to state and local law
enforcement to hire officers and purchase equipment.
- $500 per-worker, $1,000 per-couple tax cut for two years,
costing about $145 billion. Workers could expect to see about $20 a
week less withheld from their paychecks starting in June. Millions
of Americans who don't make enough money to pay federal income
taxes could file returns next year and receive checks.
- Greater access to the $1,000 per-child tax credit for the
working poor in 2009 and 2010, at a cost of $18.3 billion. Under
current law, workers must make at least $8,500 to receive the
credit. The change eliminates the floor, meaning more workers who
pay no federal income taxes could receive checks.
- Increase the earned-income tax credit - which provides money
to the working poor - for families with at least three children, at
a cost of $4.7 billion.
-Provide a $2,500 tax credit for college tuition and related
expenses for 2009 and 2010, at a cost of $10.3 billion. The credit
is phased out for couples making more than $160,000.
- Repeal a requirement that a $7,500 first-time homebuyer tax
credit be paid back over time for homes purchased from Jan. 1 to
July 1, unless the home is sold within three years, at a cost of
$2.6 billion. The credit is phased out for couples making more than
- Extend a provision allowing businesses buying equipment such
as computers to speed up the depreciation of that equipment through
2009, at a cost of $5 billion.
- Provide an infusion of cash into money-losing companies by
allowing them to claim tax credits on past profits dating back five
years instead of two, at a cost of $15 billion.
- Repeal a Treasury provision that allowed firms that buy
money-losing banks to use more of the losses as tax credits to
offset the profits of the merged banks for tax purposes. The change
would increase taxes on the merged banks by $7 billion over 10
- Subsidize locally issued bonds for school construction,
teacher training, economic development and infrastructure
improvements, at a cost of $35.5 billion.
- Extend tax credits for renewable energy production, at a cost
of $13 billion.
- Extend and increase tax credits to homeowners who make their
homes more energy efficient, at a cost of $4.3 billion. Homeowners
could receive tax credits of up to $1,500 for upgrading furnaces
and hot water heaters and making other improvements through 2010.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)