Schock Reiterates Need For Timely, Targeted And Responsible Stimulus Plan
Congressman Aaron Schock today reiterated his desire for a timely, targeted and responsible stimulus package that both sides of the aisle could support. Schock voted against H.R. 1 the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, when it passed the House today by a near party line vote of 244 to 188.
Schock opposed this legislation due to the lack of infrastructure spending and lack of transparency in the bill.
"While I strongly believe we need to pass a timely, targeted and responsible stimulus plan, this bill crafted by Speaker Pelosi without bipartisan input, does not rise to the challenges we are facing," said Schock. "The price tag for this bill is nearly a trillion dollars, and only 8 percent of that total goes to our transportation and infrastructure priorities. This simply is not enough."
"Despite a productive and sincere meeting with President Obama yesterday, Democratic leadership in the House refused to follow his lead and decided to write this bill behind closed doors and not allow thoughtful amendments from either side of the aisle," Schock continued.
Schock offered two amendments to the legislation. One of Schock's amendments was co- sponsored by Democrat Congressman Adam Smith of Washington, making it one of only a handful out of the over 200 amendments proposed that was bipartisan. It would have ensured the website www.recovery.gov provides timely, accurate and complete information on where taxpayer dollars authorized by the stimulus are being spent. Schock said the American people are wondering where the bailout funds were spent and his amendment would allow everyone to see exactly where stimulus funds are being spent.
His second measure would have increased funding for needed transportation and infrastructure improvements while creating good-paying jobs, and simultaneously reducing the federal deficit.
Schock also supported alternative economic stimulus legislation which failed to pass the House today by a vote of 159 to 270. This legislation would have doubled infrastructure spending in this legislation, bringing the total amount to $80 billion, including $66 billion for highways. This would have created or sustained 2.7 million jobs of the 3.5 million President Obama has requested be created through any stimulus package.
"The dire state of our economy combined with the urgent needs to upgrade our infrastructure requires us to seize this opportunity to get this bill right," Schock concluded. "We must not spend this much money and fail the people again."
Schock noted that today's vote is far from the last word on the economic stimulus bill. The Senate's version will differ from the House version passed today and those differences will be hammered out in a Conference of the House and Senate.
In addition, yesterday President Obama promised Schock and his Republican colleagues that he was open to intervening on their concerns. Congressman Schock is hopeful that a new version that comes back to the House for final consideration will address his concerns allowing him to vote for and advocate for passage of the final economic stimulus bill.