Reichert on the Stimulus: "We Have to Get This Right"
Congressman Dave Reichert (WA-08) today opposed the $789.5 billion stimulus package before the U.S. House of Representatives that lacked sufficient relief for the struggling economy. With only 18% of the package providing tax relief for hardworking Americans and small businesses, many of the spending programs will not provide the immediate aid needed to boost economic activity.
"Americans are scared, and people are hurting, but we have to get this right," said Reichert, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. "We need a bill that immediately generates jobs. Our economy is fragile, and there are workers across Washington State and the country receiving pink slips. Those who have lost their jobs need hope, stability and security. Families and small businesses need help. That's why we need legislation to preserve, protect and create jobs, not just increase spending. Many of the programs in this bill are good programs, but they don't create jobs now - and that's what we need in this crisis. I can't vote for this bill with a clear conscience when it's not the right thing for hurting Americans."
Concerns with the Stimulus
Spending too much on programs that won't create jobs.
Target spending on infrastructure and other programs that can put people to work now.
Failing to provide significant tax relief for the lowest income families.
Cut marginal tax rates for the lowest income earners, reducing the 10% tax bracket to 5% and the 15% bracket to 10%, giving more targeted and lasting relief.
Failing to provide relief for small businesses.
Lower the tax burden on small businesses in Washington State to make critical investments and employ more workers.
It fails to address free trade or help US companies export more goods to create more jobs.
Enact trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea to bolster production of goods and services in Washington State.
Spending $20B on health IT without requiring certification that these systems to manage health records will be able to communicate with each other - which is the very purpose of health IT.
Ensure that health IT systems are interoperable before spending billions on them. (Reichert offered an amendment to accomplish this in the Ways & Means Committee)
Including language that could lead to the government getting directly involved in Medicare and Medicaid patients' health care and reduce their choice of care to suit their needs.
Support policies that ensure that patients and their doctors have control over their health care needs and services.
Reichert continued, "In his inaugural address on January 20, 2009, President Barack Obama called on Congress to "spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government." I'm pleased that President Obama reached out to Republicans, and has reached out to my office to work together on this critical issue, and we will continue to work together for the sake of our children and grandchildren, and the future of this country."