President Obama Signs Economic Stimulus Bill; Includes Nearly $790 Billion in Relief to States and Americans in Need

1/1/2007

On February 17, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (H.R. 1), an economic stimulus bill. This bill, which is the President’s most influential piece of legislation enacted in the early weeks of his presidency, seeks to address the severe economic downturn affecting the U.S. The bill makes investments in public works infrastructure; assistance to State and local governments; tax relief and assistance for families and businesses; and investments to address long-term challenges on health care, energy, and climate change. It is the culmination of efforts and compromise made over the last several months by the House, Senate, and the Obama transition team and Administration. The final bill totals $789.5 billion.

Almost all the funds in the bill are available for the agencies to expend between now and September 30, 2010, providing critical flexibility to the agencies for spending this money. However, it is important to note that this is emergency spending, meaning the funds provided in this bill will not become part of the base budgets for the agencies for future years.

The bill includes many provisions that are of interest to social work educators and the social work profession. Below is a breakdown of some of the funding in the final bill of interest to CSWE members. More details will become available as the various federal agencies outline their plans for spending their portion of the money.

You may view the all of the details of the stimulus bill by visiting President Obama’s Web site dedicated to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.