Crenshaw: "A Vote Against Debt and Big Government"
Today Congress passed H.R. 1, the The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, 244 - 188. The legislation will provide the federal government with $825 billion to spend with the intention of stimulating growth in the U.S. economy.
Rep. Crenshaw said, "Everyone agrees we can't afford to sit on the sidelines and do nothing, but we also can't afford to do the wrong thing. This bill is loaded with waste and projects that won't grow the economy or create jobs. The only thing this bill will grow is the size of government."
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Douglas Elmendorf recently acknowledged that the federal government's cost in borrowing the $825 billion would amount to $347 billion between 2009 and 2019, bringing the total cost of the stimulus package to more than $1.1 trillion.
"The price tag of this package isn't the only scary thing about it. The closer we look at it, the more non-stimulative, non-job creating and questionable spending we find - like $335 million for sexually transmitted disease (STD) education and prevention programs. Most Americans are asking the same question as I am, How will that jump start the economy?' " added Rep. Crenshaw.
Other items in H.R. 1 include: $650 million in coupons for Digital TV converter boxes, $400 million in climate change research, $3 billion for prevention and wellness programs - which include the STD education programs, and $137 billion to create 32 new government programs. It also provides $1 billion for the Census and $600 million for new government vehicles.
Rep. Crenshaw stated, "Any stimulus package ought to be targeted, timely, and temporary. This package fails to meet all three criteria. It is 152 different appropriations with no strategic vision. It is not geared toward items that will create jobs and much of the money won't be spent until after 2010 - when the recession is predicted to be over. In addition, there are no sunset provisions to keep these programs from becoming permanent."
The CBO recently forecasted that the federal budget deficit will reach a record $1.2 trillion this year, and much of the $1.1 trillion expense of the stimulus package is expected to be added to the existing debt.
"I voted against this bill because it is too big, too expensive and too slow. It is the wrong kind of stimulus and will simply grow the size of government. The Republican plan is a better way and focuses on tax relief for working families and small businesses. This plan would produce twice the jobs for half the cost," said Rep. Crenshaw.
Republican Members have proposed legislation that implements fast-acting tax relief. Even President Obama's Senior Economic Advisor, Dr. Christina Romer, has conducted research that shows that the Republican proposal could create 6.2 million jobs over the next two years with only half the cost of the Administration's plan - $478 billion. The Obama proposal is forecasted to cost $825 billion with the stated the goal of creating 3 million jobs.
Rep. Crenshaw concluded, "We cannot spend our way out of this crisis, but left with more of their own money in their pockets, American families and small businesses will stimulate this economy in a way that Washington could never dream of."