U.S.Congressman Sean Duffy released the following statement today after introducing the "Recovering Excessive Stimulus Expenditures for Taxpayers" (RESET) Act, which would send unobligated stimulus funds to the Treasury for deficit reduction.
"Part of the reason I decided to run for Congress to begin with was the alarming direction that the Democrat majority was taking our nation. My predecessor not only authored the so-called "stimulus' and publicly lamented it did not spend more taxpayer money.
"What's become clear to Wisconsinites and Americans is that the so-called "stimulus' has failed. It was sold to us nearly two years ago as "emergency funding' that would "jump-start' the economy, create jobs and keep unemployment from ever going above 8%. However, since this so-called "stimulus' was signed into law, we have lost over 2.5 million net jobs nationwide and unemployment has persisted at 9% or above for 21 consecutive months.
"I simply disagree with the governing philosophy that the stimulus represents: that we can grow our economy by growing the size of government. Rescinding the remaining stimulus funds and sending it back to the Treasury for deficit reduction would send an important message to the private sector that there has been a fundamental shift in the People's House from pushing big government policies to pro-growth policies that will empower the private sector to innovate and invest.
"Every working family and small business in Central and Northwestern Wisconsin has been forced to live within their means, making painful cuts and tough choices to survive this economic downturn. Congress should do the same. There's no reason why Washington cannot or should not live by the same rules as Wausau, Chippewa Falls, or my hometown of Hayward. This measure is no panacea, but it is the kind of reform that will get our federal government on the path to fiscal responsibility."
The initial estimate for the so-called "stimulus' was that it would cost $787 billion, but the Congressional Budget office now says it will cost $814 billion with the interest on the debt for the bill totaling at least $347 billion. According to the White House' own recent estimates, $168 billion of the "emergency funding' still remains unspent with up to $7 billion in unobligated funds.
The RESET Act would simply rescind the unobligated funds and send them back to the U.S. Treasury for deficit reduction.