Job Creation and Unemployment Relief Act of 2008

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Article summary (how summaries work)

Rep. Dave Obey introduced the Job Creation and Unemployment Relief Act of 2008 on September 26, 2008, calling it a "stimulus for Main Street."[1] In a news release, Obey said, "With this bill, we're trying to boost our economy, create jobs, and help provide additional relief to families who are struggling by beefing up investments in our nation's infrastructure, extending unemployment benefits for the growing number of Americans looking for work, and helping ensure children don't lose health coverage as a result of state budget crises."[1]

According to that news release, the bill includes:

  • Infrastructure Investments: In order to have an immediate effect on the economy, investments would be made in transportation and sewer and water infrastructure projects that can start fast, meet existing needs, and create jobs. These projects provide short term benefit by putting people to work and buying goods, and leave behind long term infrastructure improvements that will benefit Americans for years to come.
  • Extension of Unemployment Benefits: Provides an additional 7 weeks of extended benefits for workers who have exhausted regular unemployment compensation (20 total weeks). Extending unemployment benefits is one of the quickest, most cost-effective forms of economic stimulus because workers who have lost their paychecks spend benefits quickly.
  • Job Training: Increases support to help Americans prepare for and find good paying jobs, including $400 million for dislocated worker and youth employment activities and $100 million to provide customized training to workers receiving unemployment benefits. Unemployment claims have increased by over 38% this year and 36% exhaust their benefits before finding work.
  • Energy Development: Invests in energy research to accelerate the development of technologies that will contribute to a reliable domestic energy supply and to modernize the electric grid, including loans to encourage the manufacture of advanced vehicle batteries and battery systems - a key component to fuel efficient cars.
  • Healthcare Assistance: Provides funding to prevent cuts to health insurance and health care services for low-income children and families, as well as generate business activities, jobs, wages and State sales tax revenues that States would otherwise not see.[1]


Voting record

On the same day as the bill was introduced, September 26, 2008, the House passed it by a vote of 263-158.[2]

Same for all scorecards:
Scored vote

Scorecard: AFSCME 2008 House Scorecard

Org. position: Aye


"The House passed the Job Creation and Unemployment Relief Act of 2008 (H.R. 7110), which would provide states with $14.4 billion in fiscal relief by providing temporary additional federal support of state Medicaid programs, create jobs through a $30 billion investment in infrastructure, and maintain a basic standard of living for families by extending unemployment providing $2.6 billion for additional food stamp assistance."

(Original scorecard available at:

Scored vote

Scorecard: Americans for Democratic Action 2008 House Scorecard

Org. position: Aye


"Passage of a bill to appropriate $60.8 billion to extend unemployment benefits and provide additional fiscal 2009 funds for food assistance programs, infrastructure projects, energy development, public housing, state Medicaid plans and other programs, including $12.8 billion for highway infrastructure investment; $5 billion for grants for drinking water and sewer projects; $3 billion to modernize and repair schools; $3.6 billion for grants to expand public transportation; and $2.6 billion for food assistance for seniors, people with disabilities and low-income families."

(Original scorecard available at:

Scored vote

Scorecard: National Journal 2008 House Scorecard

Org. position: Aye


"Approve $61 billion in economic stimulus, chiefly for infrastructure projects, plus extended unemployment benefits. September 26. (264-158)"

(Original scorecard available at

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Obey Pushes for Stimulus for Main Street," Rep. Dave Obey's House Web page
  2. "Job Creation and Unemployment Relief Act of 2008," OpenCongress

External resources

External articles