Friday, January 23: Markup of H.R. 598 – The American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Plan

On Friday, the Ways and Means Committe conducted their markup of H.R. 598, the American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.  The final bill is expected on the floor sometime next week. During the markup, Republican members of the committee proposed 18 amendments to be considered as part of the overall bill — ONLY 1 was agreed upon. The other 17 were rejected outright without ANY Democrats in support.

Check out a list of the18 amendments at the Committee on Ways and Means Republican website. Rep. Roskam’s amendment was the only one approved that inserts a GAO study into the bill to assess success of program in creating private sector jobs, etc.

What makes this worse are the statements from Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer claiming the bipartisan  nature of this markup:

“Outside of the White House today (Friday), Speaker Pelosi claimed that Republican voices have been heard in discussion of the House Democrats’ trillion-dollar spending bill.

“Majority Leader Hoyer went as far as to say, “This week, the Appropriations, Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce Committees held markups on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to include important feedback from Members to improve the package.”

(Courtesy of Ways and Means Press)

It’d be one thing to reject the Republican amendments, but just flat out insulting to claim that the resulting bill is one of bipartisanship and collaboration. You can’t have it both ways.

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Published in: on January 26, 2009 at 3:49 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Which amendment was agreed to? It’s hard to tell from the Republican Ways and Means website.

  2. Ms. Bachmann. I am a big supporter from VA. Please get the word out to your Republican colleagues. Any Republican voting for this crap sandwich will be opposed by grass-roots conservatives like me.

  3. Ms. Bachmann, I am in your district. First, I agree with Scott – which amendment was agreed to? Second, I don’t care what your supporters from Virginia have to say, I care that you listen to your constituents from Minnesota.

    I don’t pretend to have comprehensive knowledge of HR 598. I do know that our communities are suffering as more and more local people join the ranks of the un- and under-employed. Meanwhile, I watch the news and get the impression that Washington Democrats AND Republicans are being -almost- as childish as ever, whining with the ferocity of children in the backseat of their parents’ car on a long trip–Johnny won’t give me the crayon, Susie’s arm is on my side of the car, Sally is breathing my air. Puh-lease! STOP ALREADY. ALL of you. We are ALL Americans. We are ALL in BIG TROUBLE. Stop all this posturing and get done what MUST be done to at least TRY to save us from complete disaster.

    Here’s what I care about, again, based upon my limited knowledge of the scope of HR 598:

    1.) Accountability. We are purchasing HUGE shares of American banks and businesses. There should be an across the board freeze on all employee bonuses and pay raises in any company that receives federal assistance. WHY ARE PEOPLE GETTING -ANY- BONUSES FOR RUNNING THEIR COMPANIES INTO BANKRUPTCY??? The flimsy argument I heard from Merrill Lynch’s ex-CEO was that good people would jump ship if they didn’t get their bonuses. Really? Exactly where would they go? Mars? EVERY business we are bailing out is in the same boat. People like John Thain should be brought up on charges of financial TREASON. It’s people like him and MANY others who have brought our Nation to the brink of collapse.

    2.) Fair and Equitable Taxation. Those of us making less than $250,000 per year are sinking. FAST. Give us extra money, and we will spend it on necessities. Some talking head on TV said that letting the rich keep their tax breaks will stimulate the economy. Obviously, that has NOT worked. This person also said that extra money given to the middle class would be hoarded in savings accounts and retirement plans. Really? He obviously makes more than $250,000. Everyone I know has tapped into their retirement accounts and/or savings just to make ends meet these last few years as prices soared and salaries remained the same or decreased. Give us extra money, and we will spend it on the necessities that keep our economy moving. Savings accounts and retirement plans are just a pipe dream for the middle class right now. We will also spend extra money paying what we owe to banks via mortgages, equity loans, and credit card debt, which will have the net effect of stimulating our banking industry.

    3.) Transparency. WHERE is all of this money going, and who’s in charge of making sure it is spent responsibly? What are the penalties for a company that, say, spends it on perks for their top execs?

    I own a small business, and no one is bailing me out. I own my home and have a normal mortgage that I pay on time, and a credit rating around 800. I play by ALL the rules. My family is one of the ones getting royally screwed over by this mess. Still, I will support these massive bail-outs. I can see that we are in a DEEP MESS and sitting on the sidelines pointing fingers will not solve any problems. My impression of Washington is that nothing gets done because NO ONE wants to take responsibility for anything that might fail. Therefore, if no one does anything, there isn’t anything to get blamed for.

    If my husband loses his job and cannot find another, or if my business fails, we are probably less than a year away from bankruptcy. And it’s a given we won’t be able to sell our house at much of a profit even though we’ve lived here ten years. Everyone I know can say the same thing. And as the job market dries up, destitution is becoming a greater and greater threat. Please. DO SOMETHING!

  4. Thanks for pointing that the amendment that passed wasn’t posted. It is now:

    Rep. Roskam’s amendment was the only one approved that inserts a GAO study into the bill to assess success of program in creating private sector jobs, etc.


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