<BR>Capito Votes No On Bloated Stimulus Bill
Citing bloated spending and concerns that it would not provide the targeted impact necessary to responsibly address the state of the economy, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) today opposed the so-called "stimulus" bill.
"I believe in a stimulus, but not one like this that's long on promises and short on real results," said Capito, noting that only 7.5 percent of the total stimulus bill will actually go to the transportation and infrastructure projects purported to be the target of a stimulus bill.
A Republican amendment sought to double funding for infrastructure projects, but was rejected by the Speaker and members of her party.
"If these are the goals of stimulus, let's put our money there," Capito added. "We need a stimulus bill that can have an immediate impact, can create jobs and isn't weighed down with a wish-list for everyone's favorite government programs. These may be great programs, but are they stimulus? Many of them can't even spend the money they have, and now we're going to give them more?"
On his blog, Douglas Elmendorf - the director of the Congressional Budget Office - wrote that there is often a significant delay between increased government spending and its impact on the broader economy.
A "noticeable lag has occurred between sharp increases in funding and resulting increases in outlays," he wrote. "Based on such experiences, CBO expects that federal agencies, states and other recipients of funding would find it difficult to properly manage and oversee a rapid expansion of existing programs so as to spend added funds quickly...."
Responding to these concerns in a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Capito yesterday called for better targeting of stimulus dollars to ensure that programs receiving stimulus dollars are actually prepared to spend them on projects that can impact the nation's economy.
"Providing more funding to programs that have low spend-out rates falls short of the need for immediate stimulus," said Capito. "Since we still can't totally account for the TARP money, West Virginia taxpayers deserve at least some degree of confidence that Congress isn't just throwing money at a problem, but that the dollars will actually work."