Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
(Washington, DC) Prior to the U.S. House of Representatives vote on H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, U.S. Representative Michel Bachmann issued the following the statement:
"The level of disrespect we show the taxpayers today by asking Members to vote on a 1073-page bill with only 16-hours overnight to read and digest it is far exceeded by the level of disrespect we show the taxpayer by the substance of this package. As the Los Angeles Times stated in an editorial today, this bill 'serves as a case study for the time-worn notion that haste makes waste.' "The bill is supposed to have a single purpose: to stimulate the economy. Congress' one and only criterion for any project or program should have been its ability to help grow the economy and help create jobs. But, whether by design or as a byproduct of the political wrangling to get the bill to the floor, this bill is more about political priorities than economic ones. "Targeted investment in transportation and infrastructure construction is proven to grow the economy and create jobs. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that every $1 billion in federal highway investment, combined with required state matching funds, supports 34,779 American jobs. That's why Republicans had moved to reprioritize spending in the House bill and triple investments in transportation construction - a motion the majority flatly rejected. "Yet, this bill spends a scant 5.9 percent on transportation infrastructure - only just over half of that on actual highway construction. There's more than twice as much for 33 brand new federal programs ($95 billion) and nearly twice as much in expansions of 73 programs that are typically part of the regular appropriations process ($92 billion) than for total infrastructure spending ($47 billion). "Tax relief is similarly stimulative. The Republican alternative that was rejected by the majority would have created twice the jobs at half the cost. It would have done so by putting money back into the pockets of those who would use it to create jobs and to keep money cycling through the economy. "But, 27 percent of what the majority calls "tax relief" in this bill - and what the majority calls tax relief represents less than one-third of the total package - is actually federal spending disguised as tax relief. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that with their centerpiece tax provision an additional 5 million households would be added to the already 15 million that receive more money back from the IRS than they pay each year in income and payroll taxes combined. "Accenting the misaligned priorities in this bill, only 0.28 percent of the total package -- $2.2 billion - goes toward tax relief for small businesses. There's almost as much money for tax credits for purchasing plug-in electric cars, which aren't even on the market today. Again, our one and only criterion for determining inclusion in this bill should have been 'economic stimulus/' "With this bill today, Congress isn't helping America to dig itself out of the recessionary hole, we're merely digging it deeper. I cannot support this new direction for the American economy. I stand today on the side of the American taxpayer and will vote to oppose this bill."