Friday, February 13, 2009

No Republicans voted for the legislation

House passes $787 billion stimulus

Baltimore Business Journal - by Kent Hoover Washington Bureau Chief

The House passed a $787 billion economic stimulus bill Friday by a 246-183 margin.

No Republicans voted for the legislation.

Senate passage of the 1,071-page American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (H.R. 1) is expected later Friday.

The legislation includes billions of dollars in spending on items including infrastructure, education, tax breaks for individuals and businesses, help for unemployed workers and aid for state governments.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the the bill can be “summed up in one word: jobs.” The White House estimates the legislation will save or create 3.5 million jobs over the next two years.

Republicans contended the bill will do little to help the economy and will hurt the country in the long run because of the debt burden it will add to taxpayers.

This legislation will not put people to work right away,” said House Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va. “Nor does it contain the time-honored incentives for work, investment, innovation and job creation that are proven to stimulate growth.

Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, conceded the bill is not perfect but said no legislation is. If anything, he said, the legislation is not large enough because of cuts made to win Senate approval.

“You show me a smaller problem we have to confront, and I’ll be happy to produce a smaller bill,” Obey said.

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