American Recovery And Reinvestment Act Of 2009

Floor Speech

By:  Jack Kingston
Date: Jan. 27, 2009
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. KINGSTON. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

I was in a meeting today with the Republican Party and President Obama, and we pledged to work with him to turn this economy around, and we feel very serious about working with the President on a bipartisan basis.

But as we look at the stimulus package, I don't think this is quite what he had in mind. Only 7 percent of the appropriation goes to shovel-ready projects, only 13 percent in general goes to public works-type projects. At that rate it spends $275,000 per job, and the household income for America is about $50,000. This is not bold enough in terms of job creation for the targeted 3 to 4 million jobs.

The second part is this bill creates 32 brand new Federal programs at a cost of $136 billion, new spending, and yet we didn't have hearings on all of these new programs.

Then it has extension of some spending that we already have, millions of dollars for contraceptives, $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts, $200 million for grass resodding on The Mall. In fact, for every $1 in small business tax relief, this bill gives $4 to resod The National Mall, and $600 million to prepare the country for universal health care.

And then, as Mr. Wolf said, we are going to talk about the debt. Our Nation is $10.6 trillion in debt.

Now, the worst Republican deficit was $412 billion. The Democrats this quarter will exceed $1 trillion in deficit spending and, as Mr. Walz said, we owe $3 trillion to other countries, led by China.

I sit on the Agriculture Committee. We have about $26 billion in the Agriculture portion of this bill, but only $1.7 billion is spent on public works, things that will create jobs. The rest of it is traditional left-wing spending, expansion of the Food Stamp Program, even though food stamps has an automatic enrollment, and it also has an automatic inflation guard. But we are increasing food stamps.

The CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.

Mr. LEWIS of California. I yield the gentleman 30 additional seconds.

Mr. KINGSTON. This changes our $400 million loan program to extend broadband, changes it to a $2.8 billion grant program, thus creating one of the largest corporate welfare elements that's out there--and I don't know how that creates jobs--and $23 million for the Inspector General for audits, and how does that create jobs. There are better ways.

We should reduce unfunded mandates, we should increase the public works, we should have more tax cuts for small business, we should implement the SAFE Act, and we should reward responsible behavior.

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