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Massive Spending Bill Passes - $787 billion

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

"Congress today passed the largest spending bill in the history of our country with only 90 minutes of debate and with very little time to review the 1,000 plus pages in the bill," said Congressman Mac Thornberry. "The bill does very little to help small businesses create jobs, but it does a lot to grow the size and intrusiveness of government."

"In fact, the bill is a step backwards in several key areas: It removes requirements that anyone receiving a contract paid for with funding from the bill must use the government's E-Verify program in order to ensure taxpayer money is not used to hire illegal workers; it will increase business' health care costs and raise the possibility of additional class-action lawsuits against health care providers; it sets the stage for the government rationing of health care," noted Thornberry. "These additions have nothing to do with stimulating the economy, and may actually slow our economic recovery."

Among the many spending programs unrelated to job creation, Thornberry cited as examples:

• $2 billion for the Neighborhood Stabilization Fund, providing funds to organizations such as ACORN, which has
been accused of practicing unlawful voter registration in recent elections

• $1.3 billion for Amtrak, including $450 million for a new rail security grant program not included in either the
House-passed or the Senate-passed bills

• $8 billion for a High Speed Passenger Rail Program, after the House did not include any funding for the
program and the Senate included $2 billion, which will fund at least one project from Las Vegas to Los Angeles

• $170 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to research the cause, effects and ways
to mitigate climate change

• $200 million for Americorps and other paid "volunteerism" programs

• $400 million for NASA to accelerate climate research missions

• $1 billion for expenses in conjunction with the 2010 decennial census

"When American families are hurting there is something fundamentally wrong with a bill that spends more on a pork barrel railroad project between Los Angels and Las Vegas, than it does in helping people in Michigan, the state with the highest unemployment in the nation," said Congressman Thornberry.

"This bill reflects the belief that government knows best and that taxing or borrowing money for bigger government is the best way to turn back this recession."

"I respectfully disagree because history and economics demonstrate that this solution will not work. Rather than more government, more debt, and more spending, we need fast-acting tax relief for working families and small businesses. The most recent data shows that small businesses created 60 to 80% of the net new jobs in the U.S. in each of the last ten years," concluded Congressman Thornberry. "This bill spends hundreds of billions more on pork and unnecessary and unwise social engineering projects than it provides in job creating incentives, tax cuts and stimulus to job creating small businesses."

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