[Cytometry] FW: Science in the Stimulus bill

Joanne Lannigan jl7fj at virginia.edu
Thu Feb 12 15:46:12 EST 2009


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Joanne Lannigan, M.S.

Director, Flow Cytometry Core Facility

University of Virginia

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From: Shawn Otto - ScienceDebate2008 team
[mailto:shawn at sciencedebate2008.com] 
Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2009 9:28 AM
To: jl7fj at virginia.edu
Subject: Science in the Stimulus bill

 

 
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Dear Josephine,

We are very pleased to report that the vast majority of line items for
science and engineering in the House version of the stimulus package appear
to have prevailed in the final conference bill, thanks, in part, to your
efforts.  Below is a report from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office.  As
you can see, our message that science and technology investments are the key
to our nation's future has been understood by Congress - for now.

  <http://www.thedatabank.com/hm/335/image/pelosi.gif> 

 
February 11, 2009   

Conference Report on American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Preliminary
Overview

Just over three weeks since the Inauguration of President Obama, Congress
will consider the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to save and create
jobs, get our economy moving again, and transform it for long-term growth
and stability.  The landmark legislation is the first dramatic new
investment in the future since the creation of the interstate highway system
a half century ago.  

A staggering 3.6 million American jobs have been lost since this recession
began in December 2007 - the culmination of the failed economic approach of
the Bush Administration - one that also doubled our national debt in eight
short years.  We need a New Direction.

The conference report on American Recovery and Reinvestment Act currently
being drafted will:
.    Create and save 3.5 million jobs, rebuilding America, making us more
globally competitive and energy independent, and transforming our economy.
.    Give 95 percent of American workers an immediate tax cut.
.    Invest in roads, bridges, mass transit, energy efficient buildings,
flood control, clean water projects, and other infrastructure projects.
.    Restore science and innovation as the keys to new American-made
technology, preventing and treating disease, and tackling urgent national
challenges like climate change and dependence on foreign oil.
.    Invest quickly into the economy.

Unprecedented accountability and transparency measures are built in to help
ensure tax dollars are spent wisely and help restore confidence - another
critical component of this recovery. 

The legislation being drafted contains targeted efforts in: 
.    Clean, Efficient, American Energy
.    Transforming our Economy with Science and Technology
.    Lowering Health Care Costs and Ensuring Broader Coverage
.    Investing in Education for the 21st Century
.    Modernizing Roads, Bridges, Transit and Waterways
.    Tax Cuts for Middle-Class Families and American Businesses
.    Helping Workers Hurt by the Recession 
.    Providing Strong Accountability Measures.

Following are highlights, based on preliminary information, of some key
provisions in each of these areas. 

Clean, Efficient, American Energy: To put people back to work today and
reduce our dependence on foreign oil tomorrow, we will increase renewable
energy production and renovate public buildings to make them more energy
efficient.  

.    Smart Grid/Advanced Battery Technology/Energy Efficiency 
o    Provides a total of $30 billion for such initiatives as a new, smart
power grid, advanced battery technology, and energy efficiency measures,
which will create nearly 500,000 jobs. 
o    Transforms the nation's electricity systems through the Smart Grid
Investment Program to modernize the electricity grid to make it more
efficient and reliable.
o    Supports U.S. development of advanced vehicle batteries and battery
systems through loans and grants so that America can lead the world in
transforming the way automobiles are powered. 
o    Helps state and local governments make investments in innovative best
practices to achieve greater energy efficiency and reduce energy usage.
o    Spurs energy efficiency and renewable energy R&D.
.    Tax Incentives to Spur Energy Savings and Green Jobs
o    Provides $20 billion in tax incentives for renewable energy and energy
efficiency over the next 10 years.
o    Includes a three-year extension of the production tax credit (PTC) for
electricity derived from wind (through 2012) and for electricity derived
from biomass, geothermal, hydropower, landfill gas, waste-to-energy, and
marine facilities (through 2013).
o    Provides grants of up to 30 percent of the cost of building a new
renewable energy facility to address current renewable energy credit market
concerns. 
o    Promotes energy-efficient investments in homes by extending and
expanding tax credits through 2010 for purchases such as new furnaces,
energy-efficient windows and doors, or insulation.
o    Provides a tax credit for families that purchase plug-in hybrid
vehicles of up to $7,500 to spur the next generation of American cars.  
o    Includes clean renewable energy bonds for State and local governments. 
o    Establishes a new manufacturing investment tax credit for investment in
advanced energy facilities, such as facilities that manufacture components
for the production of renewable energy, advanced battery technology, and
other innovative next-generation green technologies.  
.    Landmark Energy Savings at Home
o    Provides $5 billion for landmark provisions to improve the energy
efficiency of more than 1 million modest-income homes through
weatherization. 
o    This will save modest-income families on average $350 per year on their
heating and air conditioning bills.  
.    Repairing Public Housing and Making Key Energy Efficiency Retrofits to
HUD-Assisted Housing 
o    Provides a total of $6.3 billion for increasing energy efficiency in
federally-supported housing programs.
o    Specifically, establishes a new program to upgrade HUD-sponsored
low-income housing (elderly, disabled, and Section 8) to increase energy
efficiency, including new insulation, windows, and frames.
o    Also invests in energy efficiency upgrades in public housing, including
new windows, furnaces, and insulation to improve living conditions for
residents and lower the cost of operating these facilities.

Transform our Economy with Science and Technology:  To secure America's role
as a world leader in a competitive global economy, we are renewing America's
investments in basic research and development, in training students for an
innovation economy, and in deploying new technologies into the marketplace.
This will help businesses in every community succeed in a global economy.

.    Investing in Scientific Research (More than $15 Billion) 
o    Provides $3 billion for the National Science Foundation, for basic
research in fundamental science and engineering - which spurs discovery and
innovation.
o    Provides $1.6 billion for the Department of Energy's Office of Science,
which funds research in such areas as climate science, biofuels, high-energy
physics, nuclear physics and fusion energy sciences - areas crucial to our
energy future. 
o    Provides $400 million for the Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy
(ARPA-E) to support high-risk, high-payoff research into energy sources and
energy efficiency in collaboration with industry. 
o    Provides $580 million for the National Institute of Standards and
Technology, including the Technology Innovation Program and the
Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
o    Provides $8.5 billion for NIH, including expanding good jobs in
biomedical research to study diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's,
cancer, and heart disease.   
o    Provides $1 billion for NASA, including $400 million to put more
scientists to work doing climate change research. 
o    Provides $1.5 billion for NIH to renovate university research
facilities and help them compete for biomedical research grants.
.    Extending Broadband Services
o    Provides $7 billion for extending broadband services to underserved
communities across the country, so that rural and inner-city businesses can
compete with any company in the world. 
o    For every dollar invested in broadband, the economy sees a ten-fold
return on that investment.

Lower Health Care Costs and Ensure Broader Coverage: Affordable and quality
health care is key to strong economic growth.  We are bringing our health
care system into the 21st century with information technology, which will
save billions of dollars, and are taking key steps to ensure broader
coverage in this recession. 

.    Modernizing Health Care System to Lower Costs and Save Lives 
o    Provides $19 billion to accelerate adoption of Health Information
Technology (HIT) systems by doctors and hospitals, in order to modernize the
health care system, save billions of dollars, reduce medical errors and
improve quality.
o    Strengthens Federal privacy and security law to protect personally
identifiable health information from misuse and abuse. 
o    Creates hundreds of thousands of jobs - many in high-tech sectors - by
promoting the adoption of HIT. 
o    CBO estimates that this proposal will generate billions of dollars in
"system-wide" savings.
.    Protecting Health Care Coverage for Millions through Medicaid
o    Protects health care coverage for millions of Americans during this
recession, by providing an estimated $87 billion over the next two years in
additional federal matching funds to help states maintain their Medicaid
programs in the face of massive state budget shortfalls.
o    Helps states avoid cutting eligibility for Medicaid and scaling back
the health care services covered. 
.    Providing Health Insurance for Unemployed Workers 
o    Currently, laid-off workers, under the COBRA program, can buy into
their former employer's health insurance.  But the premiums are often
prohibitively expensive.  In order to help people maintain their health
coverage, the bill provides a 60% subsidy for COBRA premiums for up to 9
months.
.    Investing in Prevention & Comparative Effectiveness Research
o    Provides $1 billion for a new Prevention and Wellness Fund.  Studies
have shown that investing in prevention can lower overall health care costs
by billions of dollars.  
o    Provides $1.1 billion for comparative effectiveness research, to help
patients and doctors determine the effectiveness of different treatments.
This research will improve the quality of care.

Education for the 21st Century:  Economists tell us that strategic
investments in education are one of the best ways to help America become
more productive and competitive.  This bill will make key investments to
help states avoid teacher layoffs and other damaging education cuts in this
recession, help make college more affordable, and make other key education
investments.   

.    Preventing Teacher Layoffs and Education Cuts by the States
o    Prevents teacher layoffs and other cutbacks in education and other key
services, by establishing a $53.6 billion State Fiscal Stabilization Fund,
including $40.6 billion to local school districts using existing funding
formulas, which can be used for preventing cutbacks, preventing layoffs,
school modernization, or other purposes;  $5 billion to states as bonus
grants for meeting key performance measures in education; and $8 billion to
states for other high priority needs such as public safety and other
critical services, which may include education.   
.    Making College More Affordable
o    Increases the higher education tax credit to a maximum of $2,500.  Also
makes it available to nearly 4 million low-income students who had not had
any access to the higher education tax credit in the past - by making it
partially refundable. 
o    Increases the maximum Pell Grant by $500, for a maximum of $5,350 in
2009 and $5,550 in 2010.
o    Adds $200 million to the vital College Work-Study program.

.    Investing in Early Childhood Development 
o    Provides $1.1 billion for Early Head Start and $1 billion for Head
Start, which provide comprehensive development services to low-income
infants and preschool children - thereby providing services for 110,000
additional infants and children. 
o    Provides $2 billion for the Child Care Development Block Grant to
provide child care services to an additional 300,000 children in low-income
families while their parents go to work.
.    Providing Other Key Education Investments 
o    Provides $13 billion for Title I grants to help disadvantaged kids
reach high academic standards - ensuring that in this period of tight state
and local budgets these vital services are maintained. 
o    Provides $12.2 billion for grants for IDEA (Special Education) to
increase the federal share of these costs, and prevent these mandatory costs
from forcing states to cut other areas of education. 

Modernize Roads, Bridges, Transit and Waterways:  To build a 21st century
economy, we must create jobs rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges,
modernizing public buildings, and putting people to work cleaning up our
air, water and land. 

.    Modernizing Roads and Bridges 
o    Provides $29 billion for modernizing roads and bridges, which will
create 835,000 jobs.  This investment creates jobs in the short term while
saving commuters time and money in the long term.
o    Requires states to obligate at least half of the highway/bridge funding
within 120 days.
o    States have over 6,100 projects totaling over $64 billion that could be
under contract within 180 days.
.    Improving Public Transit and Rail
o    Provides $8.4 billion for investments in transit and $8 billion for
investment in high-speed rail.  These investments will reduce traffic
congestion and our dependence on foreign oil. 
o    Includes funds for new construction of commuter and light rail,
modernizing existing transit systems, and purchasing buses and equipment to
needed to increase public transportation and improve intermodal and transit
facilities.
o    States have 787 ready-to-go transit projects totaling about $16
billion.
.    Prioritizing Clean Water/Flood Control/Environmental Restoration 
o    Provides $18 billion for clean water, flood control, and environmental
restoration investments, which will create more than 375,000 jobs. 
o    Experts note that $16 billion in water projects could be quickly
obligated.
.    Modernizing Public Infrastructure, Including To Achieve Major Energy
Cost Savings
o    Provides billions to modernize federal and other public infrastructure
with investments that lead to long-term energy cost savings, including about
$5 billion to make improvements in DOD facilities, including housing for our
troops and about $4.5 billion to make federal office buildings more
energy-efficient in order to achieve long-term savings for taxpayers. 

Tax Cuts to Make Work Pay and Create Jobs:  More than 35 percent of the
package will provide direct tax relief to 95 percent of American workers, as
President-elect Obama pledged, and spur investment and job growth for
American businesses.  To gain the support of the needed Senate Republicans,
the amount of Make Work Pay Tax credit has been scaled back, the AMT has
been added, and several business tax incentives have been added
(cancellation of debt income).  

.    Tax Relief for American Families 
o    Provides immediate and sustained tax relief to 95 percent of American
workers through the Making Work Pay Tax Cut, a refundable tax credit of up
to $400 per worker ($800 per couple filing jointly), phasing out completely
at $200,000 for couples filing jointly and $100,000 for single filers. 
o    Cuts taxes for the families of millions of children through an
expansion of the child tax credit (allowing families to begin qualifying for
the child tax credit with every dollar earned over $3,000). 
o    Expands the Earned Income Tax Credit by providing tax relief to
families with three or more children and increasing marriage penalty relief.

o    Helps more than 4 million additional students attend college with a
new, partially refundable $2,500 tax credit for families.
o    Protects 26 million middle-class families from being hit by the AMT.  
o    Helps first-time homebuyers and strengthens the housing market by
enhancing the current credit for first-time home purchases with the removal
of the repayment requirement.
o    Provides incentives to buy new cars, including light trucks and SUVs,
with a tax deduction for State and local sales taxes paid on the purchase.
o    Temporarily suspends the taxation of some unemployment benefits. 
.    Business Tax Incentives to Create Jobs and Spur Investment
o    Helps businesses quickly recover costs of new capital investments by
extending the bonus depreciation and increased small business expensing for
businesses making investments in plants and equipment in 2009.
o    Includes a variety of provisions to help small business, including
small business expensing for investment in new plants and equipment, loss
carry back for small businesses, a delay of the 3% withholding tax on
payments to businesses that sell goods or services to governments, and a cut
in the capital gains tax cut for investors in small businesses who hold
stock for more than five years.  
o    Provides assistance to companies looking to reduce their debt burdens
by delaying the tax on businesses that have discharged indebtedness, which
will help these companies strengthen their balance sheets and obtain
resources to invest in job creation. 
o    Provides incentives to create new jobs with tax credits for hiring
recently discharged unemployed veterans and youth that have been out of work
and out of school for the 6 months prior to hire. 
.    Tax Incentives to Spur Energy Savings and Green Jobs
o    Provides $20 billion in tax incentives for renewable energy and energy
efficiency over the next 10 years.
o    Includes a three-year extension of the production tax credit (PTC) for
electricity derived from wind (through 2012) and for electricity derived
from biomass, geothermal, hydropower, landfill gas, waste-to-energy, and
marine facilities (through 2013).
o    Provides grants of up to 30 percent of the cost of building a new
renewable energy facility to address current renewable energy credit market
concerns. 
o    Promotes energy-efficient investments in homes by extending and
expanding tax credits through 2010 for purchases such as new furnaces,
energy-efficient windows and doors, or insulation.
o    Provides a tax credit for families that purchase plug-in hybrid
vehicles of up to $7,500 to spur the next generation of American cars.  
o    Includes clean renewable energy bonds for State and local governments. 
o    Establishes a new manufacturing investment tax credit for investment in
advanced energy facilities, such as facilities that manufacture components
for the production of renewable energy, advanced battery technology, and
other innovative next-generation green technologies.  
.    Tax Incentives for State and Local Economic Development
o    Includes provisions to enhance the marketability for state and local
government bonds, which will reduce the costs they incur in financing state
and local infrastructure projects.
o    Includes a new bond-financing program for school construction,
rehabilitation, and repair. 


Help Workers Hurt by the Recession:  High unemployment and rising costs have
outpaced Americans' paychecks.  We will help workers train and find jobs,
and help struggling families make ends meet.  Every dollar in unemployment
or food stamp creates at least $1.63 in economic activity, as these funds
are spent quickly. 

.    Extending and Improving Unemployment Benefits 
o    Continues through December 2009 the extended unemployment benefits
program (which provides up to 33 weeks of extended benefits) that is
otherwise scheduled to begin to phase out at the end of March 2009 - thereby
helping an additional 3.5 million jobless workers.
o    Increases unemployment benefits for 20 million jobless workers by $25
per week, and encourages states to modernize their UI systems to keep up
with the changing workforce with expanded coverage.
o    Temporarily suspends the taxation of some unemployment benefits.
o    Every dollar in unemployment benefits creates at least $1.63 in
economic activity, according to chief economist Mark Zandi of Moody's
Economy.com.
.    Increasing Food Stamp Benefits 
o    Increases food stamp benefits by over 13% to help offset rising food
costs for more than 31 million Americans, half of whom are children.
o    Every dollar of food stamps creates at least $1.73 in economic
activity, according to chief economist Mark Zandi of Moody's Economy.com. 
.    Increasing Other Food Assistance
o    Provides other food assistance, including $100 million for Emergency
Food and Shelter to help local community organizations provide food and
shelter; $100 million for formula grants to states for elderly nutrition
services including Meals on Wheels; and $150 million for the Emergency Food
Assistance Program to purchase commodities for food banks to refill emptying
shelves.
.    Helping Workers Find Jobs 
o    Provides funding to help workers find jobs, including $4 billion for
job training including formula grants for adult job training, dislocated
worker job training, and youth services (including funding for summer jobs
for young people); $500 million for Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants
to help persons with disabilities prepare for gainful employment; $500
million to match unemployed individuals to job openings through state
employment agencies; and $120 million to provide community service jobs to
an additional 24,000 low-income older Americans. 
.    Expanding Housing Assistance
o    Increases support for several critical housing programs, including
providing $2 billion for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program to help
communities purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed, vacant properties and $1.5
billion for the Emergency Shelter Grant program to provide short-term rental
assistance and other aid for families during the economic crisis. 
.    Providing Aid to Seniors, Disabled Veterans, and SSI Recipients
o    Provides a payment of $250 to Social Security beneficiaries, SSI
recipients, and veterans receiving disability compensation and pension
benefits from the VA.  
.    Extending TAA
o    Extends Trade Adjustment Assistance benefits for at least 160,000 new
workers over the next two years who lose their jobs because of increased
imports or factory shifts to certain foreign countries.

Unprecedented Accountability:  An historic level of transparency, oversight
and accountability will help guarantee taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and
ensure that Americans can see the results of their investment.
  
.    There are no earmarks or pet projects.
.    In many cases, funds are distributed to existing initiatives with
proven track records and with tough accountability measures already in
place.
.    How funds are spent, all announcements of contract and grant
competitions and awards, and formula grant allocations must be posted on a
special website created by the President.  It must also include the names of
agency personnel to contact with concerns about infrastructure projects.
.    Public notice of funding must include a description of the investment
funded, the purpose, the total cost, and why recovery dollars should be
used.  Governors, mayors, or others making funding decisions must personally
certify that the investment has been fully vetted and is an appropriate use
of taxpayer dollars.  This information will also be placed on the internet.
.    The Council of Economic Advisors must report quarterly on the results
for the American economy.
.    A Recovery Act Accountability and Transparency Board will be created to
review management of recovery dollars and provide early warning of problems.
The board is made up largely of Inspectors General. 
.    The Government Accountability Office and the Inspectors General are
provided additional funding and access for special review of recovery
funding. 
.    State whistleblowers who report fraud and abuse are protected.

-from the team at http://www.sciencedebate2008.com/
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