2/24/2010 — 

WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Senator Jack Reed today lauded passage of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act, which cleared the Senate this morning by a vote of 70-28. This bipartisan bill is the first in a series of measures that will help create jobs and fuel economic growth in Rhode Island.

The HIRE Act includes tax breaks for businesses that hire unemployed workers and purchase new equipment. It also extends the Highway Trust Fund, investing in job-creating transportation projects for Rhode Island, as well as expands the Build America Bonds program, which provides low-interest financing for state and local governments to invest in infrastructure upgrades.

Reed joined Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, Democratic Conference Vice Chair Chuck Schumer, and Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer at a press conference this morning following the vote. His remarks follow:

Today we are beginning to take up again the great task before us. It's the three R's: it's relief, recovery, and reform.

Today is a day in which we can add to our recovery efforts, to complement the recovery package passed previously, the Highway Construction Bill, the jobs credits for hiring, the small business expensing is all designed to get people back to work and to accelerate the recovery, get it moving so that it is self sustaining.

But we also have to recognize there are still people who need help in terms of unemployment compensation, in terms of support for the states for Medicaid funding. That's also part of this broader agenda that Senator Reid spoke about it.

And then the final piece is reform. Making sure that we prepare ourselves for the future so that we don't have to relive some of the very harrowing days of the past. We're doing that on the Banking Committee, which is also a bipartisan effort with Senator Dodd and Senator Corker.

So today we celebrate a step forward and a step in the right direction to put people back to work and to in fact make our efforts much more productive and much more responsive to the needs of the American people.