A billion dollar impact


One billion dollars — that’s the amount of money the stimulus bill will provide Jewish nursing homes and social service institutions, according to the United Jewish Communities.

That’s part of the $87 billion that the legislation, scheduled to be signed by President Obama in Denver this afternoon after its passage last week by Congress, allocates to state Medicaid programs as part of an increase in the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage, or FMAP.

In a press release, UJC also praised  the $100 million that the bill includes for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, which providessupplemental funding to non-profit and public agencies to respond to food and shelter needs.

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs also applaued congressional passage of the bill, noting the FMAP funds as well as increased funding for food stamps and senior nutrition program, an expansion in the child tax credit and earned income tax credit, and extended and improved unemployment insurance benefits.

Here are their press releases. First, UJC:

Congressionally-approved economic recovery legislation awaiting President Obama’s signature prevents at least one billion dollars in cuts for Jewish supported social services, says a leading Jewish organization.

On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate approved the conference report for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which included a number of United Jewish Communities’ (UJC) legislative priorities.  UJC has been involved in advocacy and negotiations regarding an economic recovery bill for more than a year and was one of the first national charitable organizations to recognize the depth of the economic downturn and the impact it could have on communities across the nation.

Specifically, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act conference report provides federal funding to help create jobs and stimulate the economy through infrastructure improvements, tax cuts, workforce training initiatives, and positive reforms to the federal healthcare and education programs.

"This legislation will hopefully not only shorten the duration of the economic recession, but will blunt the impact for those most affected by the economic downturn," said William C. Daroff, vice president for public policy and director of United Jewish Communities’ Washington office.

UJC strongly advocated for a number of provisions in this bill including enhanced funding for Medicaid and the Emergency Food and Shelter Program.  The enhanced funding for Medicaid includes $87 billion to help states shore-up federal funding for individuals and families requesting health and long-term care aid.  UJC is a chief proponent of this provision and has led advocacy efforts among the faith-based community for an increased federal commitment for Medicaid.  Without passage of this funding, Jewish social service and health institutions would have lost more than $1 billion in funding.

Additionally, the Senate approved $100 million for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP), which provides supplemental funding to non-profit and public agencies to help respond to food and shelter needs. UJC is one of six national service organizations that manage the EFSP program and is the leader among these norganizations fighting for increased funding.

The final American Recovery and Reinvestment conference report comes one week following a UJC-hosted advocacy mission where over 60 Jewish communal leaders visited Washington to meet with a bipartisan group of Congressional leaders to encourage their support of the Jewish community’s priorities.

The House approved the conference report by a vote of 246 to 183.  The Senate voted 60 to 38 in support.  President Obama is expected to sign this legislation next week.


The economic recovery conference report, which was approved by the House and Senate on Friday, is a positive development toward restoring a healthy economy and providing a helping hand to the many Americans struggling to get by in the current financial climate, says a leading Jewish advocacy organization.

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) applauded the House and the Senate’s approval of the conference report for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which allocates federal dollars toward state relief and ensures those without jobs qualify for unemployment insurance and health care benefits.

JCPA supported several provisions in the conference report that will provide aid to those in need. The conference report includes increased funding for SNAP/Food Stamps and senior nutrition programs, an expansion in the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit, a temporary boost to the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP), as well as extended and improved unemployment insurance benefits.

Rabbi Steve Gutow, president of JCPA, released the following statement in response to the new developments:

"The approval of the conference report edges us closer to enactment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. As we wait for the final version to make its way to President Obama’s desk to be signed into law, we can only rejoice in the fact that many weeks of intensive, hard work by JCPA and other groups has finally resulted in action that will put us on the road to restoring and revitalizing the American economy.

By ensuring that people get the assistance that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will offer, we’re doing a tremendous service to ourselves by helping our most vulnerable and looking out for their general well-being."

JCPA has long supported and fought for these initiatives in accordance with its national poverty campaign, There Shall Be No Needy Among You, launched in 2007. Through this campaign, JCPA continues to urge local, state and national leaders to make anti-poverty legislation and programs a priority.

The House has passed the final version of the economic stimulus bill, 246-183. The Senate approved the bill by a vote of 60 to 38.  President Obama is expected to sign this legislation next week.

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