Stimulus Law Means Jobs, Democrat Says; ‘Disappointment,’ Warns Republican
February 18, 2009 - 8:15 AMThe top Democrat in the House of Representatives says the $787-billion economic stimulus package will create and save 3.5 million jobs. But the head of the Republican Party says Americans will be disappointed by the Democrats' spending spree.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele on Tuesday offered contrasting views on one of the most expensive bills ever passed by Congress. President Barack Obama signed the bill into law in Denver on Tuesday.
“Today, less than one month after taking office, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, answering the calls of the American people for urgent action to turn around our economy and create millions of jobs,” Pelosi said in a news release.
"The Congress and the President understand the deep apprehension that the American people feel -- about their jobs, their health care, and the economic security of their families. Congress has responded with swift, bold, and sweeping legislation that will help create and save millions of jobs and transform our nation, with tough accountability and transparency."
Pelosi called Tuesday “a day of new jobs, new hope, and a New Direction for the American economy."
But RNC Chairman Steele says Republicans are “unified” in their opposition to the bill.
“It all comes down to this,” he said: “The Democrat plan focuses on putting Americans on the public dole, while the Republican plan focuses on putting America back to work.”
Steele says out-of-work Americans will be disappointed in the bill, which will “fall short of creating the promised new jobs, but will guarantee a larger debt burden on our children and grandchildren.”
Steele also urged Democrats to learn a lesson in bipartisanship from mistakes made this time around.
“The transparency and bipartisanship that President Obama promised the American people was sacrificed to pass a pork-laden bill without any public review or meaningful Republican support,” he said.
Republicans complain the bill was rushed through, bypassing the normal committee hearings, which allow for debate on a bill's details.
“In these difficult economic times, it is imperative that Republicans and Democrats work together to create new jobs and grow the economy," Steele said, adding that Republicans "stand ready" to work with Democrats "in a bipartisan manner."
“Hopefully they will learn from the mistakes in this bill and be interested in true bipartisan efforts in the future," Steele concluded.
In recent weeks, as Democrats steamed ahead with their spending plan, House Republicans backed what they call a “better solution” -- an economic recovery plan that promised “fast-acting tax relief to help the economy create jobs.”
While the Democrats pressed for billions in government spending, Republicans urged spending those billions on immediate tax relief in the form of lower individual tax rates.
The Republican plan also would have provided tax deductions for small businesses to spur investment and expansion; assistance for the jobless in the form of tax-free unemployment benefits; and their bill ruled out tax increases to pay for spending.
On another topic, Republicans say the best way to stabilize home value is to give a tax credit of $7,500 to those home buyers who make a minimum down-payment of five percent.
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