COBLE TO VOTE AGAINST STIMULUS BILL
Saying it spends too much and doesn't offer enough tax breaks to truly stimulate the nation's failing economy, U.S. Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC) said today that he will vote against the so-called stimulus bill scheduled for a vote later today. Congressman Coble said that H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, contains $825 billion in new spending - and with interest payments - the total cost reaches $1.1 trillion.
"I oppose the bill because the most effective and efficient means of jumpstarting our economy, without wasteful spending, is providing tax incentives to working families and small businesses," Rep. Coble stated. "There are more than 778,000 small businesses in North Carolina with 500 or fewer employees. These businesses represent more than 98% of all of the firms doing business in our state, and they create more than 54% of the new jobs in North Carolina. We know tax incentives are effective stimulants, and we also know they will generate revenues that will minimize the cost to taxpayers."
Rep. Coble added that the Congressional Budget Office estimates that only 15 percent of the bill's funding will be utilized this year. "Job cuts have been predicted to continue into the summer," Coble noted, "and our working families cannot afford to wait for stimulus years from now, they need it immediately. I don't see how spending $335 million to combat sexually-transmitted diseases or $600 million for new cars for government workers will create or protect North Carolina jobs."
Congressman Coble said H.R. 1 doesn't bring enough benefit to the 6th District to warrant his vote. "I understand that this bill will cost each taxpaying resident in our district $2,700," Coble added. "With more than 680,000 residents, our total bill will be $1.88 billion, and we have no guarantee or estimate on how it will help our district."
The cochairman of the Congressional Textile Caucus spoke on the House floor moments ago to support an amendment offered by Rep. Larry Kissell (D-NC). Rep. Coble said that the amendment would extend the provisions of the Berry Amendment to purchases made by the Department of Homeland Security. Currently applicable only to the Department of Defense, the Berry Amendment is a Buy American requirement, and Kissell's amendment would extend that requirement to DHS. The amendment was approved by voice vote.