[Congressional Record Volume 155, Number 115 (Tuesday, July 28, 2009)]
[Pages H8949-H8950]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the 
gentlewoman from Nevada (Ms. Berkley) is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Ms. BERKLEY. Madam Speaker, Nevada has been a boom State for as long 
as I can remember. My family has been there for 46 years, and with 
every passing year, more and more people moved in and more and more 
people flourished in a very strong economy. But when the bust came, it 
came with a vengeance, and I am afraid that the State of Nevada, like 
many other States in this country and many other countries in the 
world, is suffering and is in the midst of an economic crisis.
  We have the highest mortgage foreclosure rate in the country in my 
congressional district and I have one of the highest unemployment 
rates. And what makes this so startling is perhaps a year ago there was 
virtually no unemployment in my district and in the State of Nevada.
  There has been a lot of criticism about the stimulus package. It is 
called the Recovery Act, more commonly known as the stimulus package. 
People say it is not big enough. People say it is not fast enough and 
that it is not working. But I have to tell you, the people of Nevada 
have received extraordinary benefits from this stimulus package.
  There was a reason that I voted for it. It provided education 
funding, unemployment benefits, health care benefits, tax breaks, 
Social Security money for my seniors, and my disabled veterans received 
substantial funds as well.
  According to the Nevada State Treasurer, $426 million in stimulus 
funds have already been paid out to people in Nevada. That doesn't 
include the tax cuts, the Social Security payments or the payments to 
our disabled veterans. Money is flowing into Nevada and is keeping many 
families afloat during this economic crisis, and it is an economic 
crisis the likes of which none of us have ever seen and none of us ever 
thought would happen.
  But let me tell you in real terms how this stimulus package is 
benefiting the folks back home.
  Tax cuts: The Making Work Pay tax credit. I know you recall, Madam 
Speaker, there was $400 for individuals, $800 for families. Ninety-five 
percent of American families and individuals are already seeing a 
decrease in their withholding and their paychecks. One million families 
in Nevada are seeing more money in their monthly paycheck because of 
this stimulus package at a time when this money is so desperately 
  118,000 Nevada families are going to benefit from the Child Tax 
Credit expansion.
  American Opportunity Tax Credit. There is a new $2,500 tax credit 
that is going to help 32,000 Nevadans go to college. I know what it is 
like when you don't have money to go to college and you have to take 
out loans and grants. This is going to help kids, like me, that went to 
school and depended on these loans and grants.
  Alternative minimum tax. 31,000 people in my district would have been 
slammed by the alternative minimum tax if the stimulus package had not 
been passed.
  There is tax relief for business as well. Whether you are a large 
casino or a small business in the State of Nevada, we provided relief 
for you: cancellation of indebtedness, bonus depreciation, small 
business expensing. For most of us, we don't understand what that is, 
but for small business people and businesses in general, this is their 
very lifeblood, and we have saved thousands of Nevada's small 
businesses from going under.
  Unemployment insurance. With an unemployment rate of over 12.5 
percent and going higher--we haven't bottomed

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out yet--the very fact that we were able to provide unemployment 
benefits, extension of unemployment benefits and expansion, so that 
Nevada families that find themselves unemployed for the first time ever 
are going to be able to use this as a bridge to get from where they are 
now to where we need to be.
  Health care. So many of my constituents, the very poorest of us, 
depend on Medicaid money. The State of Nevada had no Medicaid money. 
The Federal Government came in and helped the State of Nevada so that 
we can continue to provide health care for the poorest among us.
  Education. We all talk about the importance of education and how it 
is the most important thing that we can provide children for their 
future and for the future of this country. Well, Nevada was broke. The 
State legislature couldn't figure out where we were going to get the 
money, and the Federal Government came to our rescue; $400 million in 
fiscal stabilization funds.
  What is that? That means that we are going to prevent teacher layoffs 
and other education cuts. We were restoring the money that was slashed 
by the Nevada Legislature, $70 million in special education, $70 
million in disadvantaged student funding. These were so important for 
the people of Nevada, so important for our schoolchildren.
  And when things get tough and people are laid off, the first thing 
they are going to need is food stamps in order to feed their families.
  I know that my time is almost up, but there are three things that are 
so important. A $250 one-time payment to all Social Security 
beneficiaries. That is 100,000 people in Nevada that will benefit from 
that. Veterans, a $250 one-time payment to disabled veterans. 18,000 
veterans in Nevada will benefit from that. And infrastructure funding 
as well. $200 million will be spent in Nevada on infrastructure. $33 
million are for flood control projects, and the rest is going to go to 
the Regional Transportation Commission to continue to improve our 
infrastructure, all very important.
  The people of the State of Nevada need to know this, and I appreciate 
the fact that this body passed that legislation.