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Washington's House Delegation Splits Along Party Lines on Stimulus Vote

By Josh Feit January 28, 2009


Earlier today Chris K. posted some footage of Rep. Dave Reichert (R-8) giving a speech against President Obama's stimulus package. 

Well, the vote happened late today, 244-188, and good to his word, Reichert voted No.

The boring Washington delegation split along party lines, 6-3. 

Rep. Reichert's statement and Rep. Jay Inslee's (D-WA, 1) press releases on their respective No and Yes votes are posted below.

Inslee Votes Yes on Stimulus Package WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee voted in favor of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 244-188. He issued the following statement after the vote: “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is a bold, timely, and ambitious program to restore America’s economic strength in these times of uncertainty, and I’m proud to say that tonight we have taken the first step to put it into action. The recent layoff announcements at Boeing, Microsoft, Starbucks and other companies throughout Washington State are further proof that the federal government cannot afford to be timid in tackling this problem. “I’m particularly proud that today, we launched an important piece of the New Apollo Energy Project by investing $84 billion into clean energy programs. That federal support will go toward programs like Bonneville Power Authority to enhance our transmission capacity, toward supporting the new energy technologies at local companies like MagnaDrive, and toward the support of solar panel component manufacturers like REC Silicon in Moses Lake. The Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition will continue to work together to advance these priorities further in the future.”

 


Reichert Rejects Massive Spending Bill


Supports Proven Solutions for Job Creation, Economic Stimulus


 



Washington, DC – Congressman Dave Reichert (WA-08) today opposed an $825 billion spending package for which there was little evidence that it would create new jobs.  Despite the concerns of many lawmakers, economists, and American citizens, the bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 244-188.

 

“This is a time for smart, accountable, and targeted investments to get our economy back on track, not more of the same shotgun spending that mortgages our children’s futures,” said Reichert.  “This package excluded key stimulus provisions from bipartisan negotiations with President Obama and was rushed to the House floor without any assurance that its $825 billion price tag would jumpstart our economy or create jobs. Just last week, the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation could not say whether any jobs would be created by this massive spending package. We cannot let calls for swift action overrun common sense, thorough consideration, and healthy debate.”

 

Reichert continued, “Everyone remembers the bailout from last fall, which demonstrated what happens when government rushes to act without real accountability: mistakes were made, and taxpayers were left with a $700 billion tab. I could not in good conscience support this nearly $1 trillion measure for which there was little evidence that it would create new jobs.  There were many provisions in this package that I strongly support; but we need an economic stimulus, not just another spending bill.

 

Reichert spoke on the House Floor Tuesday night (January 27, 2009) during debate on the stimulus package.“Unequivocally, this crisis calls for immediate, bipartisan action – but action that has a proven record of creating jobs and that ensures taxpayer funds are spent wisely. I strongly support proven stimulus measures to address our economic crisis, including extending broad-based tax relief for families and small businesses, opening new markets to trade, and making smart investments in infrastructure improvements.”

 

During consideration of the package in the House Ways & Means Committee last Thursday, Reichert supported several other common-sense proposals to stimulate the economy, ranging from reducing income taxes to prohibiting taxes on unemployment benefits.  It was in this same meeting that the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation testified that it could not be determined whether any new jobs would be created by the bill.

 

Reichert concluded, “After meeting with President Obama yesterday, I’m hopeful that he will work with members on both sides of the aisle to enact proven stimulus measures, and I will continue to support his efforts to bring Democrats and Republicans together to build consensus and craft effective legislation for our economy.”

 

Reichert laid out many of the provisions he is seeking in a comprehensive stimulus measure, including:

·   Reduce income tax rates for the lowest earners, from 10% to 5% and 15% bracket to 10%.

·   Extend tax incentives for small businesses to make critical investments and employ more workers.

·   Prohibit taxes on unemployment benefits.

·   Enact tax deductions to make health insurance more affordable.

·   Offer incentives for energy efficiency and home purchases.

·   Invest wisely in highway construction and public transportation.

·   Open new markets to trade.

 



*Reichert spoke during debate on the stimulus package Tuesday night. Click on the image to view or visit www.youtube.com/repdavereichert.
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