“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, February 2, 2009

RSC Update: Monday, February 2, 2009

Lots of good info in here. I was picking and choosing things to post but there's so much in here it's easier just to give you the entire update. I could comment until my finger tips disappear but why bother when you can read and think for yourself???

From the Chairman
Last week, the House of Representatives considered its version of the Democrats’ massive borrowing-and-spending bill, dishonestly referred to as a “stimulus” package. Despite the President’s call for bipartisanship, House Democrats refused to accept any input from Republicans. Yet bipartisanship did materialize as members of both parties registered their disapproval, voting against the misguided package. A number of Democrats broke ranks to join every single Republican in a call for a new direction. Though the bill passed, Republicans stood on the side of American families and businesses and remain committed to a different approach to economic recovery.

Any real solutions to our economic problems will start with placing confidence in American families and businesses through meaningful tax relief and fewer government burdens. Wasteful government spending must not be our default option. This strategy has historically ended in failure, and there is no reason to believe that breaking spending records today will yield different results.

The public understands that congressional Democrats’ big-spending strategy will only lead us down the road to more debt. As we move forward, conservatives in the House will continue to offer a real solution for the American people. The RSC’s Economic Recovery Act is a bold solution that embraces the principles which can turn our economy around. As long as the Democrat majority clings to its spending addiction, the RSC will continue to fight for the American taxpayer.

Rep. Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA)
Chairman, Republican Study Committee

RSC Media Activity
Every week, Republican Study Committee members work hard to ensure that the conservative viewpoint is well-represented in all corners of the media. With unbridled federal spending as this week’s leading issue, Republicans have been busy spreading their message.

Economic Recovery Act is Wiser Alternative to Massive Spending
Chairman Tom Price (GA-06)
Congressional Democrats have engaged in a full offensive to convince the American people that another massive dose of borrowing and spending is the solution to our economic tribulations. They talk of an economic near-Armageddon without as much as a trillion dollars in new spending. The rhetoric, in point of fact, sounds remarkably similar to the appeals for their last economic solution, the disastrous Troubled Asset Relief Program. (Read more)

An Awful Excuse for a Stimulus Bill
Rep. John Campbell (CA-48)
Last September, we cautiously backed away from the precipice of financial collapse, but we are still a long way from getting our economy growing, flourishing, and functioning properly. Now, more than ever, we need innovative economic policies, not the political gamesmanship already playing out across all areas of government. (Read more)

The $825 Billion Earmark
Rep. Darrell Issa (CA-49)
The more we learn about the proposed Pelosi-Obey $825 billion economic stimulus proposal, the more it looks like an $825 billion earmark. Excluded from the package are good government provisions that would prohibit use of economic stimulus funds for lobbying or political activities. Democratic leaders are repeatedly touting the importance of passing their bill, yet are taking the path of least resistance and failing to ensure that the funds actually go towards the stated goal of creating jobs and jumpstarting our economy. (Read more)

Rep. Jeff Flake (AZ-06) on Fox Business
Rep. Flake spoke with David Asman and Liz Claman talks about the importance of tax cuts and eliminating wasteful spending from the Democrats’ so-called stimulus package. (View here)

RSC Legislative ActivityRSC members have made it a priority to introduce productive, conservative alternatives to the Democrats’ reckless agenda.

Rep. Jeff Flake introduces amendments to Democrats’ non-stimulus
Recognizing that funding from the bill will be wasted, the stimulus includes a provision that precludes casinos, aquariums, zoos, golf courses, and swimming pools from receiving funds from the bill. Congressman Flake has drafted an amendment that would expand the list to include duck ponds, museums, skate parks, equestrian centers, dog parks, ski hills, historic homes, ice rinks, splash playgrounds, and speaker systems. (Read more)

Rep. Don Manzullo (IL-16) introduces tax credit amendment
With 13 million Americans employed by the automobile industry and its suppliers, Manzullo’s tax credit amendment – which he offered as a stand-alone bill (The Get America Moving Again Act -- HR 550) earlier this month – would immediately stimulate vehicle sales and put millions of Americans back to work. (Read more)

Rep. Steve Scalise (LA-01) introduces amendment to strip abortion funding from spending bill
Rep. Scalise introduced an amendment that will strike taxpayer funding for contraceptives and the abortion industry from H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 last night. The House Rules Committee included the Scalise amendment into the proposed bill that was considered on the House floor. (Read more)

Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO-05) introduces amendment to stop wasteful spending
Rep. Doug Lamborn offered an amendment to the House Committee on Rules to H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. His amendment would strike a $6.2 billion increase to the Weatherization Assistance Program and instead dedicate those funds for defense procurement. (Read more)

House Floor Activity
The following key legislation saw a vote on the House floor this week:

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (H.R. 1)
The Democrats’ so-called stimulus package is widely recognized as an $800+ billion earmark. The bill was loaded with hundreds of billions of government spending mandates, most of which will do nothing to create jobs. Much of the bill’s discretionary spending will not occur until after the current recession is projected to end in 2010. While the bill purportedly contains “tax relief,” most of these provisions expire after two years, are intended to benefit state and local governments, or are actually entitlement spending increases. The legislation also dramatically expands spending for government-provided healthcare while establishing a board that can serve as a placeholder for Tom Daschle’s goal of a Federal Health Board to regulate the U.S. health care system. This bill is not a “stimulus” of any sort, but rather an $800+ billion grab bag intended to forward the Democrats’ big-government agenda. For more information, see here. Passed 244-188.

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 (S. 181)

DTV Delay Act (S. 328) – Defeated!

Money Monitor
Each week, the RSC Money Monitor tracks how bills passed by the House affect authorizations, mandatory spending, and federal government revenue.

Five-year cost of authorizations passed by the House this week: $0
Total five-year cost of authorizations passed by the House this year: $20,000,000.00

Mandatory Spending
Five-year change in mandatory spending passed by the House this week: $283,300,000,000.00
Total five-year change in mandatory spending passed by the House this year: $333,375,000,000.00

Cost of appropriations passed by the House this week: $347,500,000,000.00
Cost of appropriations passed by the House this year: $347,500,000,000.00

Five-year change in revenue passed by the House this week: -$217,800,000,000.00
Total five-year change in revenue passed by the House this year: $177,700,000,000.00

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