Today the House passed H.R. 1 [digest | votes], the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009." The bill passed despite bipartisan opposition to the bill. Following are the remarks delivered by Congressman Pence, on the floor of the House of Representatives, in opposition to the Democratic stimulus bill:
"Our nation is in recession and millions of American families are hurting.
"Many have lost their jobs, many now worry that they’ll be next and it is absolutely right that this Congress is taking decisive action in the early days of 2009.
"But the bill that House Democrats have brought to the floor is not about stimulating the economy. The only thing this Democrat bill will stimulate is more government and more debt.
"Under the guise of stimulus, House Democrats have brought a partisan bill to the floor. It’s merely a wish list of longstanding liberal Democrat priorities that have little do with putting our economy back on its feet.
"Millions of Americans are asking today: ‘What does $50 million to the National Endowment for the Arts have to do with creating jobs? What is $400 million for climate change research going to do to put people back to work in Indiana? And what is $335 million for sexually transmitted disease education going to do to get this country working again?’
"House Republicans will oppose this bill for one reason—it won’t work.
"More big government spending on liberal programs won’t cure what ails the American economy.
"House Republicans have a better solution: fast-acting tax relief for working families, small businesses and family farms.
"According to analysis and economic models used by President Obama’s top economic advisors—when applied to our plan—we come to one conclusion: twice the jobs, half the cost with the Republican alternative.
"Democrats also said that we’re going to pass temporary and targeted stimulus legislation. But let me remind the American people what we keep hearing—from the Speaker of the House, whom I deeply respect, to other colleagues that have come to the floor—we have heard that this bill is about 'taking America in a new direction.'
"I say with great respect, I thought this was about creating jobs.
"This long litany--$136 billion in program spending—is simply about trying to reorder the budget priorities according to the whims of a Democrat majority.
"What we ought to be doing is coming together across this middle aisle, across the partisan divide—as our new President has challenged us to do—bring the best ideas, the best minds, the best solutions—the Republican alternative is such a solution. I urge its support and yield back."