By Pamela Gentry, Senior Political Analyst
Feb. 16, 2008 – When President Obama signs the $787 billion stimulus package into law Tuesday, Black Americans could see the impact in their communities — sooner rather than later. But it’s not a magic bullet; some things take more time.
Last week Black lawmakers made a point to express their pleasure with the spirit of the final bill even with some minor cuts to favored programs. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) said, the package remains “the largest economic stimulant in history.”
And the dollars in it will be welcome back home. “We lined up the initial package with the needs of the people we represent then we measured it along with what we were able to give them. The people we represent can feel comfortable with this package. What we wanted in this package is what made it.”
Cleaver‘s district isn’t alone when it comes to meeting the “need” this economic surge of cash will deliver. House Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) one of the Democratic leadership responsible for moving the bill forward said, “We are pleased President Obama focused his tax cuts on the poor and middle class.”
New York Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) said, “People in our communities see their salaries and they see their paychecks and notice a lot is missing. People are working hard every day and still can’t afford to pay their bills and now we have a President that can help them.”
The bill will offer up hope for folks struggling in the tight job market. Of the 3.4 million jobs projected in the legislation thousands of these jobs will be in states with large minority populations. For example, Missouri, Cleaver’s state could see an estimated 70,000 new jobs; South Carolina 50,000; and New York 215,000.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act estimates on job creation were derived from an analysis conducted by the Council of Economic Advisers and the chief economist for the vice president.
According to their state-by-state analysis states like Michigan, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania will see upwards of 150,000 new jobs statewide.
“We’re proud we can take home a real solution to the constituents in our communities who have been waiting for a hand up from the government,” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said. Her state could see close to 400,000 new jobs.
But this is just the beginning Waters said, “We made sure that there is a continuation of stabilization funds for foreclosures in this bill. We asked for $4 billion, we got $2 billion and we’re going after TARP next! We’re on our way to correcting serious ills in this country.”
Along with jobs the bill now awaiting the president’s signature will also help extend unemployment benefits, prevent teacher lay-offs, provide for school repairs, infrastructure repairs to roads and public transit as well as provide foreclosure assistance.
Waters summed it up, “We can say to our constituents we took care of you.”
What do you think is needed in your community?