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IMG_0134-1.JPG Dear Citizens, I am asking you to take 2 minutes and call both your United States Senators at (202) 224-3121 after you read this email. Please ask him/her to vote to PASS Bill HR4213, The American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010. Bill HR4213 is awaiting passage in the US Senate. It has passed the US House of Representatives. When you call the Senate switchboard operator at (202) 224 3121, you will need to ask for your Senator by last name or you may tell them the State you live in or are calling about. Please do not call your House Representative. Please call your Senator (some Senate offices are only open during regular business hours and don't have voice mail; curious, but true!). A phone script is below. A. Why should you do this? Bill HR4213 is about existing American jobs. We presently have tens of thousands of people in 42 states working because of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Previously approved but unspent monies will end September 30, 2010 unless this bill is passed. Here are examples from 6 of the 42 states - approved funds status: as of April 1, 2010, only 24.1% has been spent in California, 35% has been spent in Florida, 24.8% has been spent in Illinois, 2.2% has been spent in Texas, 31% in Ohio and 12.8% has been spent in Philadelphia. The full list may be found here: TANF Funding by State. B. Who will HR4312 affect? 185,000 jobs will end as of September 2010. In a separate analysis, EPI estimates the legislation, which extends UI payments through the end of 2010, will provide an estimated 5 million unemployed workers with support, while ensuring access to affordable health care. But without this extension, over 8 million Americans will run out of unemployment insurance benefits by the end of this year. The extension will ensure that 5 million of these workers continue receiving support until the end of 2010. Sources below. C. Why am I sending this 'call to action' out? I head up the Public Digital Library Program at the Internet Archive, a 501(c)3 non-profit. We have been able to put 125 unemployed and underemployed people back to work helping us build a free on-line public library. Because of the work of these people and the rest of our team, we have in the last year put 250,000 books up online for all Americans to use, to improve their skills, their knowledge and their competitiveness. If this program is extended, we can put another 300,000 to 500,000 items up on line, free for all. Passing bill HR4213 will allow us to keep 125 people working and they can help put hundreds of thousands of items online for all Americans. D. What else can you do to help? Please forward this email to friends in your state and other states. This bill will impact Americans in all states and we need support from both Red and Blue Senators; unemployment is color blind. Sincerely, Robert Miller Director of Books Internet Archive 415 640 1092 FAQs 1. What is bill HR4213? American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes of 2010, aka The Extenders Bill, aka The American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010, aka American Workers, State and Business Relief Act of 2010 Amongst other items, it will extend by one year, the time to spend unspent funds already approved by Congress under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The sub-section of this bill is the 503 Program (Extension of the Emergency Contingency Fund). The Senate is contemplating whether to cut out all or part of Section 503. Previously approved funds need to have be spent by Sept 30, 2010 or they will vanish. 2. Has it passed the House? Yes on Dec 9th, 2010. The Senate passed it on March 10, 2010. What is happening now is the Senate is amending the bill. The bill must pass with section 503 still intact. 3. What happens if this bill does not pass intact and Section 503 is cut out? Unspent funds will vanish and up to 185,000 employed Americans will not have funding to continue their jobs after Sept 30, 2010. 4. What are others saying about it? a. David Leonardt – New York Times ....Voters may not like deficits, but they really do not like unemployment. Looking at the problem this way makes the jobs bill seem like less of a tough call. Luckily, the country's two big economic problems -- the budget deficit and the job market -- are not on the same time line. The unemployment rate is near a 27-year high right now. Deficit reduction can wait a bit, given that lenders continue to show confidence in Washington's ability to repay the debt. As a result, Congress does not have to choose between the problems. It can pass the jobs bill, putting people back to work, and even pass a separate bill to help struggling states. History has shown that state aid, which prevents layoffs of teachers, emergency medical technicians and other workers, is the single most effective form of stimulus. b. Center for Budget and Policy Priorities Conclusion Unless states know soon that additional aid will be available for fiscal year 2011 under the TANF Emergency Fund, they will begin to scale back and subsequently eliminate the subsidized jobs they have created using the fund. Within a few months, they will start to curtail jobs programs and limit job placements to shorter periods. In addition, many states will feel compelled to institute harsh cutbacks in cash assistance for very poor families with children even though need is continuing to rise. The result will be a further loss of jobs, a withdrawal of needed stimulus, and an increase in serious hardship among some of the nationâs poorest children and families. c. May Jobs report overview The Labor Department reported today that only 431,000 new jobs were created in May, and 411,000 of them were temporary census positions. Experts had predicted that the total number of new jobs would be significantly higher. The low number of new private sector jobs appears to undermine arguments of those who oppose extending unemployment benefits. Opponents of the extensions have argued that the benefits are no longer necessary as the economy is recovering and the unemployed can now find jobs. d. Impact of law not passing ...if it isnât passed and signed into law before the recess, millions of jobless workers will lose their unemployment insurance (UI) and COBRA health insurance benefits beginning June 2, when the extended programs for both expires. e. Section 503 - Originally this was called the TANF JOBS AND EMERGENCY FUND -- Background. It has now been called the Section 503 program. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act created an Emergency Contingency Fund (ECF) within the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to help States with increasing expenditures on: basic assistance for families in the TANF program; short-term, one-time aid for needy families; and subsidized employment programs (such programs temporarily pay for all or part of the wages of a worker in a public or private job). This emergency fund is now scheduled to expire on September 30, 2010, which will lead some States to shut down ECF-funded subsidized employment programs even earlier. (These programs are scheduled to fund 185,000 jobs by the end of September.) The bill would provide $2.5 billion to extend this fund through FY 2011, as well as clarify certain program rules, such as eligibility for workers exhausting unemployment benefits. f. If you want to follow HR 4213 in the Senate, you can watch the debate live on Cspan. C-SPAN2May g. Call script - If you don't know what to say when you are connected to your Senator's office, here is what to say: “ Hi my name is __________ and I live in __________ . I am calling about Section 503 of HR4213 and I want Senator _________ to know section 503: The extension of The Emergency Contingency Fund is important to me and my fellow citizens. Please keep section 503 intact"
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