Senate passes bill exceeding $1,200,000,000,000.00
Enzi, Barrasso vote NO, support changes
by Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso
February 10, 2009
(Washington, D.C.) Ė After only eight days of debate, the Senate passed a bill to expand government spending by more than a trillion dollars, increase government debt and escalate government control in the lives of Americans, all under the guise of stimulating the economy, according to U.S. Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, both R-Wyo.
The Senate passed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, H.R. 1, a bill commonly known as the stimulus package, by a vote of 61-37 today. Enzi and Barrasso voted against the bill. Differences between the House and Senate bill will now be worked out in a conference committee.
"This bill is bailout baloney. The U.S. government, the big credit card in the sky, has already maxed out its credit card but the bank hasnít noticed and the government is now applying for another card with a higher spending limit. Our government will spend the whole income on interest, leading us to an endless cycle of spending and debt. Bankruptcy is not an option for our country - and so, neither is this bill. Unfortunately, after todayís vote, that is where we are headed," said Enzi.
"Now is not the time to put every Christmas wish every politician has had on the government credit card. Not only will the interest keep going and eat us alive, much of what we are buying has to continue to be fed to have any value. If you build a shovel ready swimming pool people still have to be hired to maintain it when finished. That is a continuing expense, not a temporary expenditure. People hired to new government jobs will have to be paid every year because we all know a government job rarely goes away but increases in cost each year."
"This is the largest spending bill in the history of our country, and itís being rushed through Congress. We are firing all of our bullets at once. If the plan doesnít work, weíll be out of ammunition. Either way, America will be paying off this enormous debt for generations.," said Barrasso.
"We need solutions that are timely, targeted and temporary. In Wyoming we work hard and we pay our taxes. Instead of pulling on our boots and going to work, America is now being put in to a financial straightjacket. While many of the programs in this legislation may have merit on their own, they simply do not belong in an economic stimulus package."
"There are actions Congress can take that will help our economy. We could have real and positive impact from a series of bills for very limited, targeted solutions - believable solutions. Bills done one at a time, bills of a size more understandable, free from the pent up spending desires of decades are what we need. We should start with housing. Government spending by itself will not solve the problem. We canít spend our way out of it. We need to devote our efforts to stemming foreclosures, invigorating the housing market and getting our financial institutions and individual investors to step back into the market without fear. We can do all of this without a $1,200,000,000,000.00 price tag," said Enzi.
"In Wyoming we are responsible with our money. We balance our budgets. We tighten our belts when costs need to be cut. In Wyoming we donít spend money we donít have. Washington needs to take a lesson from Wyoming. It is absolutely critical that we carefully monitor these programs to make sure taxpayers are getting value for their money. Any measure of this size and scope is primed for waste, fraud and abuse. It is critical that we work to ensure proper oversight and accountability of these tax dollars," said Barrasso.
The full text of three floor statements as well as video and audio from Enzi about the spending package are available at http://enzi.senate.gov. News releases about this bill from Senator Barrasso are available at http://barrasso.senate.gov.