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Public Statements

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT OF 2009 -- (House of Representatives - January 27, 2009)


Mr. NUNES. Mr. Chairman, the significance of what we face can only be described as a generational challenge. Many of my colleagues seem to believe that the only solution is to spend enormous amounts of taxpayer money.

First we are told that we had to spend $700 billion to bail out Wall Street. Then we were told that, despite the bailout's failure, we needed another $350 billion. And now this Congress is told to approve nearly $1 trillion in a taxpayer-funded giveaway.

Mr. Chairman, perhaps it is time to remind my colleagues that this Nation is already facing unsustainable levels of government spending. Responsible action today is not to spend more, but to reform the way we do business and spend less. The current economic crisis should serve as a warning, a powerful warning to this Congress: face your economic demons, or be crushed by your political cowardice.

For years we have lived on borrowed time. We have continued to throw money at unsustainable and broken programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. These programs must be fixed.

On a more blunt point, our Nation's energy policy is an absolute travesty. To put it simply, our policies are bizarre. We want abundant energy, but we enact policies that do nothing but march us in the opposite direction.

It is time for this Congress to face reality. We should permit more oil development off Alaska and our coastlines. I know this is shocking to hear, but we must also match the leadership of France and produce 80 percent of our electricity from nuclear reactors.

The bottom line is we need jobs. Energy development will create jobs. I can assure you that throwing more and more money at the problem isn't going to solve the crisis. Simply taking action to be seen as doing something is denying reality and is an injustice to the American people.

Tough choices need to be made. While they will not always be popular, nor will they be easy, they are most certainly necessary.


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