Stimulus Passes Committee - Flawed Legislation Will Hurt, Not Help, our Nation’s Future

Apr 12, 2011
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Appropriations Committee today met to mark up the Pelosi-Obey economic stimulus bill. House Appropriations Republicans, including Ranking Member Jerry Lewis, expressed serious concerns with the flawed legislation.

“We need to work together—across party lines—to restore confidence and create a climate conducive to short- and long-term economic growth,” Lewis said. “However, the centerpiece of any stimulus bill ought to be near-term 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 indicated that the taxpayers deserve specific answers before we spend $825 billion of their money, and that there needed to be clear answers as to how many jobs this proposal will create in six months, 12 months, 18 months, and beyond. 

“Are we fostering job creation and economic stimulus or are we simply growing the size of government?” Lewis asked. “All of this spending will place tremendous burden of debt on present and future generations.”   

Committee Republicans offered a series of amendments at the mark up, focusing on reducing the size of the stimulus package and ensuring that the legislation funds programs that would have a real, short-term, positive effect on the economy:



·         Labor, HHS Subcommittee Ranking Member Todd Tiahrt offered an amendment to strike all new programs created in the bill – funding that does not have the ability to be spent in the short term. The amendment would have cut 122.3 billion in new spending from the bill. The amendment failed 21-39.



·         Energy and Water Subcommittee Ranking Member Rodney Frelinghuysen offered an amendment to transfer out all funds that would not have been spent until - at the earliest - FY 2010. The amendment would redirect the funds towards transportation and infrastructure projects that would have a more immediate positive effect on the economy. That amendment failed 22-37.



·         Interior Subcommittee Ranking Member Mike Simpson offered an amendment to strike the creation of a “slush fund” created in the legislation that would let agencies spend leftover stimulus funding without Congressional approval or public scrutiny. The amendment was accepted by the Chair with a modification excepting Military Construction projects.



·         Transportation, HUD Subcommittee Ranking Member Tom Latham offered an amendment to require federal agencies to certify that they will use stimulus funds to add to – not replace – existing project funds already in federal pipelines to ensure that the stimulus funds will have an immediate effect on the economy. The amendment failed 22-36.



·         Homeland Security Ranking Member Hal Rogers offered an amendment to withhold half the funds in the stimulus bill until expenditure plans are submitted to the Committee that: 1) explain exactly how dollars will be spent; (2) align funding to results; and (3) certify oversight measures required by the bill are in place. The amendment failed 22-36.



·         Interior Subcommittee Ranking Member Mike Simpson offered an amendment to apply the Democrat majority's PAYGO rule to the stimulus bill, effectively requiring that all direct entitlement spending be deficit neutral.  It prohibits any provision in the bill that provides new or increased entitlement spending from taking effect until Congress enacts a bill to provide the corresponding offsets.  The amendment failed 22-35.



·         Financial Services Ranking Member Jo Ann Emerson offered an amendment to prohibit stimulus funds from being used to administer or enforce an increase in tax rates. The amendment failed on a voice vote.



·         Commerce, Justice, Science Subcommittee Ranking Member Frank Wolf offered an amendment to create a SAFE (Securing America’s Future Economy) Commission. The commission would develop legislation to deal with long term national debt, budget and economic issues. The amendment failed 23-34.



·         Agriculture Subcommittee Ranking Member Jack Kingston and Committee member Ken Calvert offered an amendment to extend the authorization of E-Verify to ensure that all new jobs created will go to American citizens and those lawfully in our country. The amendment contains the full text of H.R. 6633 that passed the House last year. That amendment was accepted by the Chair.



The final bill passed committee by a vote of 35-22. No Committee Republicans voted for the bill.






112th Congress