Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton unveiled a $70 billion economic stimulus package Friday aimed at making it easier for millions of people to pay their mortgages and home heating bills.
The five-part plan is designed to help homeowners hurt by the housing foreclosure crisis, help families having trouble paying their energy bills and support people who have lost their jobs, according to a material released by her campaign. Clinton also was urging the government to invest in "green collar jobs" to stimulate the economy and improve the environment, her campaign said.
If the economy continues to worsen, Congress should provide an additional $40 billion in direct tax rebates to working and middle class families, Clinton said.
The proposal, Clinton's campaign said, would provide 37 million Americans with energy assistance. Hundreds of thousands more families would get help to avoid foreclosure, according to the proposal.
According to the campaign, the plan includes:
- Establishing a $30 billion housing crisis fund to help states and localities deal with the fallout of foreclosures. The federal money could be used to ease the effects of vacant properties with anti-blight programs and helping local housing authorities buy and rent out vacant properties.
- Setting a 90-day moratorium on subprime mortgages of at least five years, or until housing lenders have converted mortgages into loans families can afford. The proposal also would increase the portfolio caps at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
- Providing $25 billion in emergency energy assistance for families facing rising heating bills. While 37 million families are eligible for energy assistance, only 5.6 million, or 16 percent, are slated to receive any aid this winter, the campaign said. She is proposing immediate grants to all 37 million eligible families.
- Providing $10 billion to extend unemployment insurance for those struggling to find work while supporting families.
Providing $5 billion in energy efficiency by doing such things as giving tax credits to encourage purchases of low emission vehicles and efficient appliances windows and other clean technologies. She also proposes funds to train and put to work people making public buildings more energy efficient.