Rep. Leonard Lance (NJ-07) yesterday met with President Barack Obama to review the economic stimulus package currently before the Congress.
Later that evening, Lance participated in a White House meeting with Obama's chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. Afterwards the 7th District lawmaker repeated his call for a bipartisan approach to crafting a stimulus plan that reduces wasteful spending and helps create jobs through fast-acting tax relief for middle-class families and small businesses.
"It was an honor to hear from President Obama on the economic stimulus legislation," Lance said. "It was a sincere, thoughtful and open discussion, and I agree with the President's message of bipartisan inclusiveness in crafting a strong stimulus package. Unfortunately, the House Democratic Leadership has authored a partisan $1.1 trillion spending package that was not developed in a spirit of bipartisanship.
"The measure currently moving through Congress contains wasteful spending," Lance added. "We must do more to provide relief to those who need it: middle-class working families and small businesses. And we must do it together - Republicans and Democrats. So far that has not happened and the American people deserve better."
According to a new estimate from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the real cost of the stimulus plan is $1.1 trillion. The CBO also noted that the plan would add $347 billion to the national debt over 10 years.
Moreover, two-thirds of the House bill, or $550 billion, is new spending. Much of the new spending is slated for projects that have nothing to do with jump-starting our economy, like $1.8 billion to repair National Park Service facilities; $1 billion for the 2010 census; $650 million to subsidize the purchase of analog-to-digital converter boxes; $600 million to buy new cars for government workers; $462 million for construction and renovation for the Centers for Disease Control; $360 million for new child care centers at military bases; $150 million for repairs to Smithsonian Institution facilities; and $44 million for repairs at the U.S. Agriculture Department.
"I hope the stimulus bill that moves through the Senate contains improvements and suggestions from the Republican side of the aisle. I will review it when it comes back to the House of Representatives to see if it has become a better bill. We can do better," Lance concluded.