M E M O R A N D U M
TO: Reporters and Editors
RE: Economic Stimulus Legislation
DA: Monday, February 9, 2009
Senator Chuck Grassley made the statement immediately below regarding his vote today against economic stimulus legislation put before the Senate with limited debate, the Collins-Nelson amendment #570 (substitute) to H.R. 1, the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
“Thousands of Iowans have called me to voice their opposition to this legislation. They don’t have confidence that the bill will get the economy back on track. Their cynicism is fueled by the package’s massive government spending and long-term entitlement commitments that will leave the next generation with trillion dollar deficits. The bill is a big missed opportunity, especially with the strength of a new president who campaigned to change the ways of Washington, and the urgent need to help create and sustain jobs. The way this bill was managed with a heavy partisan hand by congressional leaders kept it from being an effective economic stimulus package. Bipartisanship isn’t picking off bare minimum support from a few Republicans at the 11th hour. It’s working together from the beginning to develop good ideas from both sides and weed out bad ones. When partisanship takes over the process, it shuts out good amendments like mine to extend the wind energy production tax credit, which would have provided certainty for an industry creating hundreds of jobs in Iowa. It also hurts states like Iowa which are likely to see the major blows of the recession after other states, just when the money is likely to be gone. For example, the bill gives disproportionately more help to big states at the expense of states like Iowa with Medicaid dollars, and the majority leader in the Senate wouldn’t even allow my amendment to be discussed which would have directed social services to Iowa and other states still recovering and rebuilding from natural disasters in 2008. So, instead of a plan that is charged with initiatives to encourage investment, risk taking, entrepreneurship and the kind of activity that gets people to work today and for the long haul, America is getting a bill that’s big on government spending and small on much else, including help for Iowa. In the midst of the worst economy since the Great Depression, America’s workforce and those fighting for a better day deserve better.”