Gingrey opposes Democratic “Trillion Dollar Debt” Bill

Gingrey: “A missed opportunity to do the right thing”

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Washington, Feb 13, 2009 | Chris Jackson (202-225-2931) | comments

Congressman Phil Gingrey today voted against the House/Senate compromise version of the $789 billion economic “stimulus” package.  This so-called compromise Conference Report passed the House by a vote of 246 to 183, with only Democratic votes in support.

“We really missed an opportunity today to give hard working Americans a true stimulus bill which would put their tax dollars back in their pockets,” said Gingrey.  “Instead, Speaker Pelosi and Harry Reid championed a bill that saddles our children and grandchildren with what will amount to more than $1 trillion in debt – and fails to provide our economy with the shot in the arm it needs.  This ‘Stimulus’ bill only perpetuates the dangerous myth that government spending will fix this economy, but the truth is government spending will only bury future generations in more debt. With the passage of this bill, this Congress will borrow more money in 2009 than we did in the first 200 years of our nation’s history.  President Obama and this Majority have missed an opportunity to do the right thing.”

“Republicans have a real plan to create twice as many jobs at half the cost of this ‘spenduluous’ through across the board tax cuts and cuts in government spending.  I proudly joined with many of my Republican colleagues in introducing H.R. 470, the Economic Recovery and Middle Class Tax Relief Act, to create new jobs and spur economic growth by letting middle-class families, small businesses, job-seekers, and home-buyers keep more of what they earn.”

The Economic Recovery and Middle Class Tax Relief Act would provide an across the board income tax cut of 5%, repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax, increase the child tax credit, cut the top corporate tax rate, make the Research and Development tax credit permanent, and save money through a 1% across the board cut to all non-defense federal discretionary spending.

“As a physician, I am also concerned with a health care provision that represents a major step toward government-run health care,” continued Gingrey.  “Hidden deep within this bill is $1.1 billion for comparative effectiveness health care research.  While comparative effectiveness research sounds innocent enough, it is actually a tool for bureaucrats to decide which medical treatments Americans should or should not have access to.  These sorts of personal decisions should be made by patients and physicians – not some federal bureaucrat who has never donned a lab coat.”

Questionable or Non-Stimulative Spending:

  • $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts
  • $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
  • $10 million for the inspection of canals in urban areas
  • $100 million for grants to small shipyards
  • $300 million for the Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program
  • $2 billion to support the manufacturing of advanced vehicle batteries
  • $1 billion for Community Development Block Grants
  • $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
  • $300 million for federal procurement of green plug-in and fuel efficient golf carts
  • $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
  • $15 million for historic preservation at historically black colleges and universities
  • $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
  • $5.5 billion for federal buildings (GSA), including $4.5 billion to convert federal buildings into “high-performance green buildings” and $450 million for a new headquarters for the Department of Homeland Security.
  • $142 million for the alteration or removal of 4 obstructive bridges
  • $25 million for the Smithsonian Institution for maintenance backlogs
  • $1 billion for expenses in conjunction with the 2010 decennial census
  • $650 million for more Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Coupons
  • $1 billion for a Prevention and Wellness Fund, which can be used for sexually transmitted disease (STD) education and prevention programs
  • $500 million to replace a 30-year old computer system at the Social Security Administration
  • $500 million for a health professions training program—funding which an earlier committee report said were allocated because, “a key component of attaining universal health care reform will be ensuring the supply of primary care providers.”
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