WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Glenn “GT” Thompson, R-Howard, voted in opposition to a massive $1.1 trillion spending package crafted by Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats that he said will do little to stimulate the economy and create jobs.
“There is no question our economy is in dire straits”, said Thompson, a Member of the House Small Business Committee. “But as I have stated throughout this process, throwing money at the problem will not offer the ‘stimulus’ that I agree must occur. Look no further than the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), known as the Wall Street bailout, where the federal government squandered over $350 billion as evidence of a big government solution, and its ill-effect on the economy.”
Thompson, who supported an alternative measure that focused on small business and middle class tax relief, housing and unemployment assistance, remains committed to working with his colleagues across the aisle in advocating for smart government solutions to the many economic challenges facing the nation.
“As the economic engine that powers our economy, extensive small business tax relief coupled with homebuyer and extended unemployment insurance benefits will undoubtedly stimulate economic growth. The Republican alternative takes each of these measures into account and is the primary reason it gained my support.
“There are many worthwhile programs included in the Democratic package, but this bill, originally pitched as an Economic Recovery and Rescue Package, contains hundreds of billions of dollars in new spending that will do absolutely nothing to create jobs and stimulate the economy.”
Some of the spending Thompson is referring to is $600 million to purchase new vehicles for the federal government, $600 million to ‘prepare the country for universal healthcare’, $726 million for an after-school snack program, $400 million for ‘habitat restoration’, $82 billion in ‘tax rebates’ for Americans who do not pay taxes, among many others.
Under the Democratic plan, that passed the House today on a near party line vote – 244 yea, 188 nay – only $30 billion of the estimated $1.1 trillion package will go towards much needed highway and bridge investment.
“Almost every economist is in agreement that the best bang for the buck – aside from tax relief – is infrastructure investment. But when you look at this package, transportation infrastructure spending represents a mere 5 percent of the total package. This is not acceptable and the American people deserve better.”
Thompson also expressed serious concern over the closed process with which the bill was crafted. “The citizens of the Fifth District sent me to Washington to advocate on their behalf – to look out for their interests and to fight for fiscally responsible polices. This bill does not fit that mold and unfortunately, the Speaker of the House is not interested in applying the fiscal responsibility and accountability, which so many Fifth District families incorporate into their everyday lives, to the Federal government.”