August 4, 2010
Democrats Continue Mockery of Responsible Spending, Rush Through State Bailout Designed to Save Only Government Jobs
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Jerry Lewis Wednesday blasted the Senate’s slapdash effort to bail out irresponsible state spending and placate teachers unions by spending more taxpayer dollars on yet another stimulus bill.
“Faced with terrible polls in his own state, Majority Leader Harry Reid rushed through a bill that will not make a bit of difference to millions of average Americans who are desperately looking for a job,” Lewis said. “The Congress has spent the entire spring and summer doing nothing but calling for more and more wasteful spending, and now they are claiming to have accomplished something by throwing away more taxpayer dollars in a state government bailout.”
Lewis noted that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Appropriations Chairman David Obey have repeatedly tried to push through a state bailout by claiming the need to save teachers jobs. But they have been stopped in their efforts by the outcry from the American public against the huge deficits that have been racked up through such reckless “stimulus” spending.
“Chairman Obey and Speaker Pelosi have ignored the need to pass a budget and set a course for how federal dollars will be spent in the coming year, but have rushed to spend taxpayer funds and add to the deficit for failed ‘stimulus’ efforts that have no effect on unemployment,” Lewis said. “It’s no surprise that the Speaker is once again calling on members to waste taxpayer dollars on last-minute flights to rush back and vote on a bill that should have been decided months ago.”
The $26 billion bailout package is designed to offset state costs for education and for Medicaid costs, but Lewis noted that the bailout allows states to avoid the tough decisions required to balance their books in other ways.
“States across America have as their No. 1 responsibility the education of our young, and if states cannot reduce their own spending to carry out that responsibility, we will surely never solve the problem with a federal bailout,” Lewis said. “A multi-billion-dollar federal bailout today could set the stage for a nationalized education system tomorrow, and ultimately push our economy over the cliff into bankruptcy.”
“States are facing difficult economic times, we understand that, but so are the more than 15 percent of workers who are unemployed in San Bernardino and Riverside County and millions of other Americans who have had to make choices to make ends meet,” Lewis said. “The American people understand that the federal government cannot afford this tide of unsustainable deficit spending that is hurting our recovery and curbing new jobs.”