Lewis: Opposition to House Democrat Stimulus Bill Based on “Economic Reality,” not “Partisan Politics"
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House today considered and passed the House Democrats’ economic stimulus bill. The bill contains over $600 billion in spending for a wide swath of government programs – many of which will not spur the creation or the retention of a single job. House Appropriations Ranking Member Jerry Lewis spoke in opposition to the House Democrats’ bill.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House today considered and passed the House Democrats’ economic stimulus bill. The bill contains over $600 billion in spending for a wide swath of government programs – many of which will not spur the creation or the retention of a single job.
House Appropriations Ranking Member Jerry Lewis spoke in opposition to the House Democrats’ bill.
“Our opposition to this package is not based on partisan politics but on economic reality. The centerpiece of any stimulus bill ought to be job creation. Government has a role—but our constituents are not asking for an unlimited expansion of government. They are asking Congress to focus on specific sectors of our economy and to provide solutions that will offer tangible, near-term results,” Lewis said.
“Taxpayers—who will repay this debt over time—deserve specific answers before we spend another nickel of their money. They deserve to know how many jobs will be created in six months, 12 months, 18 months, and beyond,” Lewis continued. “They deserve to know where these jobs will be created, how many of these jobs will be skilled or unskilled positions, and whether these jobs will be sustained through higher taxes or even more government spending down the road.”
In the “Minority Views” submitted with this bill, Appropriations Committee Republicans pointed out that most of this spending would not provide the kind of job creation or other benefits needed to sustain the economy through these tough times, and would fund programs that will have no immediate or short term relief to struggling American families. Also, they stated that this spending package is designed by the House Democrat leadership to further bloat federal programs, expand the role of government in Americans’ lives, and to provide the Democratic majority some political cover by funding campaign promises.
Ranking Member Lewis expressed frustration at the lack of bipartisanship in the shaping of the bill, noting that Republican Members were not allowed participate in negotiations or provide substantive contributions to the legislation.
“Do not, for one minute, believe that this bill reflects the input of House Republicans or even many House Democrats,” Lewis said. “This bill was largely written by two people. Any negotiations on this legislation occurred between the Speaker and Mr. Obey. That’s not a negotiation; that is a travesty, a mockery, and a sham. Wow, what a shame to waste an historic opportunity to bring Republicans and Democrats together, roll up our sleeves, and work in a bipartisan fashion.”
In addition, Ranking Member Lewis and House Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member John Mica offered a motion to reduce the total cost of the bill by over $100 billion, and transfer another $60 billion out of non-stimulative, unauthorized programs into ready-to-go transportation and Corps of Engineers construction projects. This motion was offered after several Republican-led attempts to fix the flawed Democrat stimulus failed; including an amendment to cut the entire spending portion of the bill, and a Republican substitute measure that focused on tax cuts to spur the creation of over 6 million new jobs.
“This just goes to show that the Democrat majority in the House is simply not interested in bi-partisanship or in cooperation for the benefit of all. They only allowed 3 – out of 95 – Republican amendments to be heard on the floor. They voted against our proposed spending cuts. They voted against a substitute focused on tax relief that would create three times as many jobs as their plan. Then, they even voted against a compromise motion that included many Republican concessions as well as critical infrastructure funding that would create jobs right now,” Lewis said.
“This was our chance to make a wise decision – to step back and make sure that this package is going to have a positive impact on the economy. But instead, it looks like politics as usual has won the day.”
For more information on the House Democrat stimulus bill, please visit: /