Sunday, February 15, 2009

Arizona's Congressional delegation and the stimulus bill...

On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a compromise version of H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The final vote was 246-183, with one answering 'present.' All House Republicans voted against the bill, and all but seven Democrats voted for the bill. All of AZ's Democratic representatives voted for it.

Later on Friday over in the Senate, the same compromise version was passed by a 60 - 38 vote. All Democrats present voted for the bill (Ted Kennedy was out, and Al Franken hasn't been seated yet), as well as Republicans Olympia Snow, Susan Collins (both from Maine) and Arlen Specter (PA). Both of AZ's Republican senators, Jon Kyl and John McCain, voted against the economic stimulus package.

AZ's delegation on the stimulus bill, in their own words (from news coverage, press releases, and the Congressional Record) -

Rep. Harry Mitchell (D-CD5), from a press release, courtesy Arizona Congress Watch - “Arizona’s job losses last year were worse than every other state but one. People are facing foreclosure and struggling to make ends meet,” said Mitchell. “The risk of inaction is too great. This bill will create and maintain jobs and we must take this step to get people back to work and get the economy back on track.”

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-CD7), from a press release - “I voted to support today’s Recovery Act, a bill that is far from perfect, but opens up possibilities for many...The State of Arizona is in a budget crisis that it is translating to cuts in the Department of Economic Security, slashed departments at our public universities and colleges, money taken from our children in elementary, junior high, and high schools, and increases in hunger, poverty, and the ranks of the uninsured. The Recovery Act will help stop this kind of hemorrhaging, which is why I support it."

Rep. John Shadegg (R-CD3), from a press release -

"But one of the bill’s worst provisions has gone almost unnoticed, dangerously lurking below the radar of those exposing the bill’s flaws.

“Comparative Effectiveness Research,” sounds innocuous, but big-government programs always do. The $1.1 billion of the stimulus package earmarked for this project is a significant step toward government-run healthcare

Shadegg from a post in The Hill's CongressBlog, titled "Friday The 13th Horror" - "But of course the greatest horror is not the process – it is the product. At the end of the day we have an economic stimulus without economic stimulus."

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-CD8), as quoted in the Arizona Daily Star - 'The legislation will create or save 3.5 million jobs nationally over the next two years. Approximately 70,000 of those jobs will be in Arizona," she said in a press statement.'

The same article goes on to list a series of informational forums that Giffords will be part of, including one on Tuesday at ASU from noon - 1:30 p.m with CD5's Representative Harry Mitchell. (Pima Room in the Memorial Union)

More info on the forums, courtesy Congresswoman Giffords' website here.

Rep. Jeff Flake (R-CD6), from the Congressional Record - "We know enough about this legislation to know that it is bad legislation. First and foremost, the process is bad, but it’s bad legislation...I doubt that John Maynard Keynes would believe that $50 million for the
National Endowment for the Arts would be stimulative. All that it stimulates is more spending later."

Sen. Jon Kyl (R), from the Congressional Record - ...His speech is too long to find one good quote, so I recommend reading it in its entirety at the link. He opposed the bill for a litany of reasons, including ACORN, Filipino veterans, a maglev rail line from L.A. to Las Vegas, money for small shipyards (and not enough $ for big shipyards), and the Davis-Bacon Act (prevailing wage).

Sen. John McCain (R), was quoted as calling the bill "generational theft" on CNN and elsewhere. (NY Times)

President Obama is expected to sign the bill on Tuesday in Denver, and will be in Phoenix on Wednesday to announce a plan to fight home foreclosures. Details as they become available.

Note: In the future, I expect to leave this sort of post to Stacy at AZ Congress Watch - it took longer just to set up the links than to write the rest of the post.

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