Today, Congressman Bill Cassidy (R-Baton Rouge) issued the following statement after meeting with President Barack Obama and the House Republican Conference to discuss economic stimulus legislation:
"I appreciate President Obama's willingness to work with Republicans and build consensus about how to stimulate the economy. I agree with the President that we can spur economic growth and create jobs by building strong infrastructure and providing tax relief for families and small businesses."
"I am frustrated that House Democrats have not been similarly bipartisan, but have ignored Republican concerns about the magnitude of wasteful spending in this bill. We cannot borrow and spend our way to prosperity."
Early on, President Obama articulated a vision for the stimulus package based on broad and targeted tax relief and significant infrastructure spending for shovel-ready projects. ("Obama Plan Includes $300 Billion In Tax Cuts," The New York Times, January 5, 2009)
Since then, Congressional Democrats, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), have transformed Obama's vision into a spending spree for projects that could hardly be considered "stimulative," including:
· $200 million to repair the National Mall, including $21 million for sod (page 120);
· $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts (page 129); and
· $150 million for repairs to Smithsonian Institution Facilities (page 128).