Matt Dempsey  (202) 224-9797 (Inhofe)

Peter Rafle (202) 302-7086 cell (Boxer)

EPW Committee Approves Bipartisan Jobs Bill:

Economic Development Revitalization Act of 2009

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Environment and Public Works Committee approved S. 2778, the Economic Development Revitalization Act of 2009, bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Economic Development Administration (EDA), that provides development grants to communities with high levels of economic distress.  The legislation overwhelmingly passed the committee with a bipartisan vote of 18 to 0.

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, introduced the bill with Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), Ranking Member, and Senators Max Baucus (D-MT), George Voinovich (R-OH), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and David Vitter (R-LA) as original cosponsors of the measure.

Senator Boxer said: “The approval of this legislation by the EPW committee is an important step forward for families in California and across the country. With its long track record of job creation, EDA has an especially important role to play in today’s challenging economic times.  I am pleased that this bill has passed with strong bipartisan support.  I want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for the hard work they have put into this legislation, and I look forward to working together to pass this bill out of the full Senate.”

Senator Inhofe said: “I am pleased by today’s Committee passage of the Boxer-Inhofe EDA reauthorization bill. This is common sense bipartisan legislation that will mean new jobs in Oklahoma and across the nation. EDA works with partners in economically distressed communities to create wealth and minimize poverty by promoting favorable business environments that attract private investment and encourage long-term economic growth. I look forward to the full Senate passing this jobs bill as soon as possible.”

Established in 1965, EDA helps economically distressed communities foster the jobs and businesses necessary to maintain strong, healthy communities.  

From 2004 to 2008, EDA awarded $976 million in public works, economic adjustment and revolving loan fund projects.  These investments are expected to create nearly 172,000 jobs at an average cost of $5700 per job over the next nine years. 

In Oklahoma, over the past seven years, EDA investments have totaled approximately $33 million.  Those awards have leveraged another  $32.7 million in State and local dollars and more than $625 million in private sector dollars, creating more than 9,000 jobs.  Communities such as Woodward, Elgin, Durant, Claremore, Muskogee, Oklahoma City and Tulsa have all benefited from this EDA assistance.

The current multi-year authorization for EDA expired on September 30, 2008.  The Economic Development Revitalization Act of 2009 would authorize EDA through 2013 at $500 million per year while making important changes to EDA programs to ensure funding reaches the communities most in need. 

The bill approved by the committee today included a Boxer amendment, supported by Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), to promote location of information technology and manufacturing jobs in the United States.

S. 2778, the Economic Development Revitalization Act of 2009 now goes to the full Senate for consideration.