To: Interested Parties
Fr: White House Communications
Da: April 22, 2009
Re: The Obama-Biden economic plan: creating jobs, strengthening the economy for Idaho families

Facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, President Obama started his Presidency with decisive action -- proposing and quickly passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  Since the bill went into effect, the ARRA has already helped put money back in the pockets of 95 percent of working Americans, created and saved jobs across the country and made key investments in our community to help kickstart the economy.  To ensure that the funds are spent efficiently and effectively, President Obama tasked Vice President Biden with overseeing the implementation of ARRA, and projects have already begun to come in under budget across the country.   As the President prepares to introduce the details of his budget and further plans to revitalize the economy, here’s a look at how his policies have impacted Idaho in the first three months of his administration.


Working Families:

  • Making Work Pay: The President’s tax-cut – which covers more Americans than any in history – is putting more than $300 million back in the pockets of more than 500,000 hard-working Idaho families.
  • $11,946,497 to support child care for working families.


  • $16,956,700 in block grants to foster energy efficiency in building, transportation, and a wide range of other improvements.
  • $30,341,929 to support the weatherization of homes, including adding more insulation, sealing leaks and modernizing heating and air conditioning equipment.
  • $28,572,000 to the State Energy Program, available for rebates to consumers for energy saving improvements; development of renewable energy projects; promotion of Energy Star products; efficiency upgrades for state and local government buildings; and other innovative state efforts to help save families money on their energy bills.


  • $357,905,935 potentially available to Idaho to lay the foundation for a generation of education reform and help save thousands of teaching jobs at risk due to state and local budget cuts.

Health Care:

  • $2,767,698 to expand services at 11 existing Community Health Centers, which will expand service to an additional 14,371 patients and create or save a projected 33 jobs.
  • $485,000 to provide meals to low-income seniors.
  • $53,438,211 made available in Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) to protect health care for the families hit hard by the economic crisis and some of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens.
  • $839,404 in vaccines and grants to ensure more underserved Americans receive the vaccines they need.


  • $181,934,631 in highway funds to help build and repair roads and bridges.
  • $18,398,968 to repair and build public transportation infrastructure.

Law Enforcement:

  • More than $11.4 million for state and local law enforcement assistance available through the Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program.  The JAG Program supports a variety of efforts such as hiring and support for law enforcement officers; multijurisdictional drug and gang task forces; crime prevention and domestic violence programs; and courts, corrections, treatment, and justice information sharing initiatives.


Thanks to the Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, real impact is already being felt across the state.

Recovery Act Funding Will Provide for Cleanup of Northern Idaho’s Silver Valley and Enable Another 100 People to be Hired; Silver Valley Among the 50 Most Polluted and Hazardous Waste Sites in the Country. "Northern Idaho's Silver Valley is among 50 of the nation's most-polluted and hazardous waste sites that were chosen Wednesday to receive a share of the federal stimulus money. Between $10 million and $25 million will be spent in the mining region to remove pollution from about 1,000 residential lawns contaminated by decades of mining and smelting, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said. About 100 more people will be hired to the existing work force of 125 to complete the work two years ahead of schedule. ‘The whole intent was to create jobs,’ said Dan Opalski at the EPA's regional headquarters in Seattle. ‘This will allow the state to supercharge that program for a couple of years.’ The new goal is to finish the project by 2013 instead of 2015, he said." [Associated Press, 4/15/09]

Stimulus Funding Will Create 500 Jobs, Prevent Layoffs, and Clean Up Nuclear Waste That Threatens Snake River Aquifer. "Hundreds of new jobs, a cleaner environment and it’s all happening in our very own backyard. The Department of Energy approved $468 million in federal funding. It will create not only new jobs but it'll speed-up the clean-up at the DOE's facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory. This comes as a part of President Obama's stimulus package. The government put six billion in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and out of 12 states that received the money, Idaho is fourth on the list for the most funding…Not only are they creating more than 500 new jobs, but this stimulus money is rescuing hundreds who were in jeopardy of being laid-off. ‘It has put a real stress on our operations. We were expecting a substantial amount of layoffs but with the stimulus money, we're able to retain our workforce,’ said Jim Cooper with the Department of Energy. What they'll be doing is demolishing about 80 nuclear facilities as well as extracting several acres of buried waste and moving thousands of spent nuclear fuel from wet basins to dry storage. This is all to protect eastern Idaho's environment and get rid of the threat to the Snake River Aquifer. ‘By spending it early we save money in the long-run for tax payers and we're able to have shovel-ready work if you will, that will get underway right now and does provide a stimulus to the economy,’ said Senator Mike Crapo." [Local 8 News, 4/1/09]


Department of Health and Welfare Director: Thanks to Stimulus Money, the Child Immunization Program Will Not Have to Cut Its Budget. "Thanks to the federal stimulus, low-income Idaho kids are going to be able to get their immunizations. Department of Health and Welfare Director Richard Armstrong said Monday the $787 billion economic shot-in-the-arm signed by President Barack Obama includes $2.9 million for Idaho for shots in the arms of young recipients of state aid. Earlier this year, Armstrong told Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee budget writers he was striking $2.7 million from the immunization program in fiscal year 2010, starting July 1, due to tax revenue shortfalls. [The Associated Press, 3/9/09