Issue Position: Economy
There is no question our economic growth has become sluggish, and American families are feeling the impact of increasing fuel and grocery costs as well as the current housing crisis. I am pleased Congress was able to reach a bipartisan agreement on an economic stimulus bill that will put money in the hands of those who need it. The legislation, the "Economic Stimulus Act of 2008," H.R. 5140, which I supported, is designed to provide rebate checks to taxpayers and provide employers greater incentives to invest and create jobs.
I am pleased the economic stimulus legislation passed by the Senate, H.R.5140, also includes an amendment I supported to prevent illegal immigrants from obtaining a rebate check by requiring a valid Social Security number to claim the rebate and the per-child bonus. Additionally, the amendment ensures that senior citizens, disabled veterans and widows of disabled veterans receive rebate checks by counting Social Security benefits and VA disability payments towards the $3,000 earned income test.
As Congress considers economic policies, I believe we must make certain that we promote American manufacturing and work to benefit the small business community in this country, as that is where the majority of the jobs in this country are created. Most importantly, I am opposed to raising taxes and increasing the size of government.
The people of Georgia expect their tax dollars to be used wisely, and they expect Congress to be more efficient and more productive. To that end, I believe that improving our budget process is an important step in reigning in wasteful spending and ensuring fiscal responsibility. I am a cosponsor of the Biennial Budgeting and Appropriations Act, S.2627, which would require the president to submit a two-year budget at the beginning of the first session of a Congress. Members of Congress would then need to adopt a two-year budget resolution, a reconciliation bill if necessary and two-year appropriations bills during that first session. The legislation ensures the enactment of two-year appropriations bills by providing a new majority point of order against consideration of an appropriations bill that fails to cover two years. The second session of a Congress would then be devoted to the consideration of authorization bills and oversight of federal programs. I believe the enhanced oversight will result in more accountability of government programs.
I appreciate your comments on this important matter. As our nation experiences the challenges you outlined, I will keep your views in mind as my colleagues and I weigh the various legislative proposals before the Senate. I have closely reviewed the recent decisions implemented by the Secretary of the Treasury and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve and, in general, support their efforts. As we move forward in the Senate, the state of the economy and the support of legislation that will enable our economy to improve are and will remain uppermost in my mind.