The purpose of this letter is to bring you up to date on federal economic recovery efforts and the National League of Cities’ crucial work on this.
Congress is expected to approve (and the White House is expected to sign) a $15 billion auto industry emergency loan package later this week. Following a holiday recess, Congress will return to Washington on January 6th to begin work on a comprehensive economic stimulus package with the goal of having it ready for the President Obama’s consideration shortly after the inauguration on January 20, 2009.
The legislation is being drafted now. However, the spending level and the specific elements to be included are still being debated. (The President-elect has not proposed a spending level but says it will be the “single largest new investment in our national infrastructure since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s.”) Since the final measure is still being developed, there’s still time for us to convince Capitol Hill to include programs in the package that can make a difference in our hometowns. Click here for the League's Municipal Stimulus Package Survey.
Your NLC Federal Relations team has been doing just that. Last month, NLC, along with NACo (the National Association of Counties) and USCM ( the U.S. Conference of Mayors), met with representatives from the Speaker’s Office to urge them to include our priorities (see attached) in the package they are developing. So far, in December, we have been busy making the hometown case with congressional committee staff and members of the President-elect’s transition team. These meetings have made clear that the question is not if there will be a package but how to structure one that will stimulate the economy over the next year and create more jobs over several years, while building the base for future economic expansion.
Next week, NLC President Kathie Novak will be reaching out and asking you and local elected officials to keep spreading the word with your House and Senate members.(We will also distribute sample talking points, letters of support, a council resolution, and an op-ed that can be tailored for your use.)
Our thanks go to the National League of Cities’ excellent federal relations staff under the leadership of Carolyn Coleman, Director of Federal relations. Thanks to the many of you who already have been reaching out to your congressional delegations on this important subject. They are hearing our message, so keep up the great work and please keep letting us know about your efforts. And please, don’t forget - House and Senate members will be home for the holidays starting next week. We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to meet with them in their districts and to show them what “ready to go” looks like.
As always, let us know if you have any questions. You can contact Jon Moran at 609-695-3481, ext. 121.