Rep. Joe Courtney has sent a letter to the president-elect and Speaker Pelosi today outlining a set of principles he believes will help create jobs and move the country out of recession. You can read the full letter here. Courtney’s principles are below:
- Put people to work by investing in our nation’s aging infrastructure – roads, bridges, highways, mass transit, wastewater and sewer systems – and deferred municipal priories. We can also spur local jobs by supporting urgent maintenance, repair, environmental remediation and ready-to-go construction improvements to infrastructure at military facilities.
- While we want speedy investment in projects to create jobs and grow the economy, it is imperative that we do so with a process that is accountable and ensures equitable distribution of the investment across municipalities.
- Invest in our nation’s education system so our children can stay competitive in the 21st century. A direct investment in public education provides relief to states and localities ensures quality education programs continue provides taxpayer relief and creates jobs. Title I Part A of NCLB has been funded at $54.7 billion below its authorized level and more than 4million students are not getting the extra Title I help they were promised under the program. Increasing IDEA funding will help relieve the financial burden on already struggling local communities. An increase in Pell grants would provide a lifeline to millions of students struggling to find the resources to attend or continue their education. I believe we also have an opportunity to address our unmet school construction needs – K through university – by using green technology for long-term energy savings and job growth. This short-term stimulus in education will have long-term economic and benefits for generations.
- Investing in alternative energy technologies to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil to create long-term security and financial independence. I support the inclusion of a further extension of a research and development tax credit and a renewable energy production/investment tax credit.
- Strengthening health care delivery – The U.S. health care system ranks first in the world in cost, but towards the bottom in terms of delivery of care and outcomes. The rise in our nation’s uninsured and underinsured have only exacerbated the problems into the system and created an additional burden for the welfare of our economy. Investment in health information technologies to modernize medical records will prevent medical errors and produce more efficiency in the system that will help reduce overall health care costs. Medicaid is one of the largest expenditures on a state’s budget. As states, including Connecticut, scramble to make up for growing budget shortfalls, the federal government must infuse more money into their Medicaid payments to prevent citizens from loosing these vital health care services.
- Responsible mortgage foreclosure relief in the courts. The housing crisis is at the center of this economic crisis, and without addressing the foreclosures and excess inventory, the recession will continue. I strongly support the responsible approach of the Durbin-Conyers bill to allow homeowners at risk of foreclosure to alter the terms of their mortgages in bankruptcy court. This will help stop the declining value of real estate so middle class wealth and neighborhood stability will not continue to be damaged.
- Provide tax relief for small businesses and working families. I support extending bonus depreciation and expanding small business tax credits to allow for these businesses to create new jobs. Tax credits for individuals will help Americans have more cash in their pockets to spend for their needs.
Courtney was in Enfield today visiting the CT Works One-Stop Career Center on Enfield St.