Recovery Rebates and Economic Stimulus for the American People Act of 2008

Floor Speech

By:  John McCain III
Date: Feb. 7, 2008
Location: Washington, DC



Mr. McCAIN. Madam President, I want the record to be clear that I fully support swift enactment of an economic stimulus measure. Having spent the past weeks and months traveling across America, I have heard first-hand of the difficulties facing so many hardworking families. I am pleased that the majority and the minority have finally reached an agreement to allow us to improve the underlying bill to address the needs of seniors and disabled veterans, and to close a loophole in the bill concerning the distribution of rebates. Now, we will be able to pass this measure today.

The bill pending before the Senate--a compromise product between the House and the President--is not perfect. Certainly we can all agree on the important yet limited improvements I mentioned such as ensuring our senior citizens and disabled veterans are not left out of this stimulus package. While perhaps none of us will be fully satisfied with the final measure, we simply cannot afford to include every member's wish list in this package. I believe the measure we will send to the President is one that almost all of us can and will support.

Beyond the short-term economic fix being debated, we must also consider the best long-term economic approach and to take action accordingly. In my judgement, there is no question that Congress must reign in wasteful porkbarrel spending. We need to make permanent the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts at our soonest opportunity and avoid a crippling tax increase for millions of Americans. We should eliminate the AMT, the poster child for the notion of unintended consequences, which threatens to affect millions of middle class families. These are steps we should take now to end the uncertainty facing American families and businesses.

America has the second highest corporate tax rate in the world. Cutting corporate taxes will spur economic growth immediately and over the long run. We need to allow first year expensing of technology and equipment investment for businesses, which would further simplify our code and provide incentives for capital expenditure. We must also work to reform and make permanent the research and development tax credit so that our businesses can do what they do best--create jobs and expand innovation--without the continued uncertainty of the whims of Congress. These are important and necessary steps toward reforming our tax code to make it simpler, flatter, and fairer for all Americans.

Clearly, we have much ahead of us to do and the American public is counting on us to fulfill the jobs that they sent us here to do. I, for one, have heard the voters. They want us to work together to stimulate and strengthen our economy and promote our Nation's long-term economic growth. Let's finally pass the economic stimulus plan and send it to the President. After all, time is of the essence if this effort is to be successful. The American public is waiting.


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