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Rebuild America Act Section by Section

Rebuild America Act Section by Section

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Published by: dave_jamieson1222 on Mar 29, 2012
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“The Rebuild America Act”
 Section by Section Summary
Title 1: Invest in America to Create Jobs and Future GrowthSection 1:
Invest in America’s Infrastructure
Part 1: Modernize America’s SchoolsToo many of our nation’s schools were built over a half century ago
and are not equipped tomeet the needs of 21st Century students and teachers. The Act provides formula grants to statesover 10 years for competitive matching grants to local entities for the modernization, renovation,and repair of early childhood education and care facilities, k-12 public schools, and communitycolleges. Grants are distributed to states based on poverty and population and States mustdescribe how they will consider the impact of potential projects on job creation and give priorityto eligible entities that use green practices and serve the largest percentages of low-incomepopulations, among other things.Part 2: Create 21
Century Renewable Energy SystemsWidespread transformation of our energy systems to enhance energy security and lessenenvironmental impacts will require energy systems changes by citizens and communities acrossthe country. This section establishes a program to support communities in efforts to undertakecomprehensive energy systems renovation strategies. Communities will compete for funds toanalyze current energy use, formulate strategies to increase use of energy efficiency andrenewable energy, and implement those strategies. The program will be administered by theDepartment of Energy in collaboration with State Energy Offices.
Part 3: Invest in America’s Ro
ads, Bridges and InfrastructureOur economy rose to greatness on the back of robust federal investment in our infrastructure. Yet
in recent decades, we’ve failed to keep up. To help overcome our infrastructure gap and to
improve the efficiency of our economy, the Act provides significant long-term investment in awide array of existing infrastructure programs, including roads, bridges, sewer-water systems,levees, and rural infrastructure. The Act provides higher spending levels for the first two years tohelp create jobs while the economy remains weak.
Section 2: Support Great Teachers
Teacher effectiveness has a greater impact on student achievement than any other in-schoolfactor. To help teachers develop the skills to prepare all children to graduate high school collegeand career ready, the Secretary of Education is authorized to offer grants to states for three tofive years to work with school districts to provide intensive professional development to teachersand other school personnel. The professional development provided through this grant programwill support teachers in teaching to the new rigorous standards states have adopted and improvestudent achievement.
Section 3:
Rebuild America’s Manufacturing Power
Part 1: National Manufacturing StrategyThe section requires the President to develop a national manufacturing strategy and submit thatstrategy to Congress. The goals of the strategy are to increase the number of manufacturing jobs,to identify manufacturing sectors in which the US is most competitive, and to develop policies to
support those sectors. The President is required to make recommendations to accomplish thegoals of the strategy and submit those to Congress.Part 2: Sectoral Technology and Innovation CentersThis provision authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to provide grants to establish sectoraltechnology and innovation centers. These nationwide centers will help small and medium sizedmanufacturers bridge the gap between research and product development and manufacturingefficiency. The Secretary will award grants to coalitions of stakeholders that partner withnational labs or institutes of higher education, with a preference for those that work closely witha successful local industry cluster.Part 3: Enhanced Funding for Manufacturing Extension PartnershipThis section provides additional funding that will double the budget for the ManufacturingExtension Partnership (MEP). Housed in the Department of Commerce, the MEP program workswith small and mid-sized U.S. manufacturers to help them create and retain jobs, increase profits,and save time and money.Part 4: Research & Development Tax CreditTo improve the R&D tax credit, this section of the Act increases the credit up to 20% byproviding a bonus for manufacturing companies that undertake research and increaseemployment in the United States over a select period of time. In addition, to provide greatercertainty to businesses seeking to use the credit, the Act extends the credit for 5 years.Part 5: Access to Credit for Small ManufacturersParticularly in the wake of the recession, small manufacturers are having a difficult timeaccessing credit from financial institutions. To help small manufacturers that have work-ordersin hand get credit, the Act creates a 95% loan guarantee program for small manufacturers underthe SBA 7(a) guarantee program.Part 6: Pursue Fair Trade
The demand created by America’s middle class is the engine of the world’s economy, but wewon’t have a thriving middle class if we allow our trading partner to use unfair trade practices
that undercut American workers and manufacturers.
Trade Agreements: This section establishes a point of order against any bill implementinga trade agreement unless that trade agreement meets certain standards relating to laborrights, environmental and public safety standards, and investment, including investmentsin state-owned enterprises. Waiving the point of order requires 60 votes in the Senate andis not subject to amendment.
Trade Enforcement Funding: This provision provides permanent, mandatory funding tosupport the newly created Interagency Trade Enforcement Center. $26 million isprovided for FY2013, with subsequent years indexed for inflation.
Combat Unfair Currency Manipulation: To help address unfair currency manipulation,this section amends countervailing duty law so that unfair currency manipulation will betaken into consideration when calculating countervailing duties.
Section 4: Prepare Americans For Jobs of the Future
Building on the model of successful sector partnerships, the Act provides for competitive grantsto regional and statewide partnerships of employers, community colleges, and other essentialeducation and training providers to support the development of career pathways and otherevidence based strategies designed to ensure that Americans obtain the skills and credentialsneeded to enter into and advance in high-quality jobs in existing and emerging sectors.
Section 6: Create Middle Class Jobs and Protect Middle Class Communities
 This provision provides significant funding over three years to state and local governments tohelp save and create jobs for teachers, cops, firefighters, and other middle class workers. Theseinvestments protect middle class communities by ensuring that we have police and firefighters tokeep us safe and teachers to educate our children. These funds will be used to supplement stateand local funds, and cannot be used for purposes other than hiring and preventing layoffs.
Title 2: Create Financial Stability and a Better Future for Middle Class FamiliesSection 1: Alleviate the High Cost of Child Care
Child care costs comprise a significant portion of the annual budget for most middle classfamilies. The Act provides formula grants to states to improve the quality of child care, subsidizethe cost of child care for poor and working families, and to encourage the development of highquality child care programs and services in poor and otherwise deserving communities. A Stateapplying for a grant must use 10% of funds to enhance the skills, knowledge, and credentials of the child care workforce, 10% of the funds to support quality improvements, and remainingfunds to increase the quality and availability of child care throughout the state.
Section 2: Help Americans Enjoy their Golden Years
Part 1: Improve the Private Retirement SystemThe United States faces a retirement crisis. This section outlines the principles needed to create abetter private retirement system going forward. To develop solutions, the Act establishes aCommission on Retirement Security composed of 31 members. Two members will be chosen byeach of the Chair and Ranking Members of the Senate HELP, Senate Finance, House Educationand Workforce, and House Ways and Means Committees. The President will appoint 15members. The Commission will review the state of the retirement system, identify problems, andanalyze potential solutions. One year after enactment, the Commission shall submit a report tothe Congress with recommendations on how to address the retirement crisis.Part 2: Strengthen Social SecurityTo improve benefits for current and future Social Security beneficiaries, the Act changes themethod by which the Social Security Administration calculates Social Security benefits. SocialSecurity benefits are based on a progressive formula which provides certain replacement factorsfor certain segments of earnings. That formula currently provides a 90% replacement factor forAverage Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME) up to the first $767 in earnings. The Act expandsthe amount of earnings covered under this high replacement factor by 15% in order to increasethe amount of AIME that receives the 90% replacement rate. When fully phased in, this changewill increase Social Security benefits by approximately $60 per month, or $800 per year.

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