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McKeon Votes Against Economic Stimulus

Laments lack of Republican input, thinks more immediate financial help could come from rebates, tax cuts.

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Congressman Buck McKeon was on the “no” side of today's 244-188
vote in the House on the $819 billion economic stimulus bill, which purportedly
would create jobs and help get the economy back on its feet. While the bill
contains money that might help local projects such as the Cross Valley
Connector, highway construction and schools, he feels that tax rebates on
vehicle purchases or tax deductions that would help small business owners would
be a better idea.

 

“With California’s
unemployment rate up over 9%, it is clear that Congress has to act, but adding
an astounding $1.1 trillion to the nation’s deficit for spending and growing
the government is a frightening proposition,” McKeon said in a statement issued
after the vote. “Eventually, someone will have to pay for this bill, and it
will likely be our children and grandchildren who shoulder that burden.  Economic
stimulus should focus on job creation, small business tax relief and putting
money back into the pockets of Americans, but the Democrat bill fails to focus
on these critical tasks.”

 

“We need a bill that will have an immediate impact on the
economy, but the Congressional Budget Office has pointed out that only 15% of
the funding in the Democrats’ bill will enter the economy this year.  The
Democrat plan is nothing more than a federal spending bill that should have
gone through the regular legislative process where it could be debated. 
As it stands now, Republicans had no input, and to be frank, many Democrats
were also shut out of the process.” 

 

“Over 200 expert economists opposed the Democrat bill and
warned that growing the government historically fails.  Democrats seem to
be under the impression that they can borrow and spend their way out of a recession,
but it just won’t work.”

 

McKeon told reporters in a phone press conference before the
vote that one of his major concerns is accountability.

 

“We did a stimulus package a year ago when we sent checks
out to everybody and followed that up with $200 billion that Fannie (Mae) and
Freddie (Mac) needed but probably wouldn’t use, but a few weeks later, that was
gone,” he said. “Then they came to us and said they had to have $700 billion or
the world was going to end … I voted yes on the $700 billion bailout, to
release the first $350 billion, but now they can’t tell us where the first $350
went. They just voted to release the second half.”

 

“I am in agreement that there has to be some sort of
stimulus, but I believe it has to be something you can put into the economy
right away to create jobs,” McKeon said.

 

McKeon said that his Republican colleagues had talked about
lowering income tax rates from 15 to 10 percent and from 10 percent to five,
which would put money in people’s pockets. He also said that small businesses
would benefit from a tax deduction equal to 20 percent of their income, which
would make them able to get loans for additional staff and to grow their
businesses.

 

He also favored one of his own ideas, that of giving
immediate rebates of $5,000 to $10,000 to people who buy new cars and smaller
rebates to those who buy used cars.

 

“That would help immediately; all those car dealers who are
dying on the vine would be able to keep their people working and pay their
overhead and get the cars off the lot,” he said. “It’s change that would go
from the ground up instead of from the head down.”